Q: Girlfriend doesnt want to go home but she is a minor. Can the boyfriend get into trouble?
My cousin is 18 and his girlfriend is a minor. She doesnt want to go home but instead stay with him. Can my cousin still get into trouble even tho it's her choice?
A: Whether your cousin can get in trouble or convicted for allowing his girlfriend to stay with him depends on a few factors. To start, it is a class A misdemeanor to harbor or hide a minor, with knowledge that the child is a runaway, if your cousin either (1) fails to notify the child's parents, or law enforcement of the whereabouts of the child within a reasonable amount of time, usually this must be done in less than 24 hours; (2) conceals the whereabouts of the minor; or (3) aides the child in escaping from the custody of the child's parents.
As such, whether your cousin can get convicted of harboring a minor depends on (1) whether his girlfriend has consent to be there - it sounds like she does not; (2) whether his girlfriend has consent to be there - it sounds like she does not and therefore she would be considered a runaway; (3) whether he notifies his girlfriend's parents of her whereabouts.
In short, to avoid the possibility of getting into trouble by getting charged, your cousin should at the very least contact his girlfriend's parents. This would avoid the possibility of him getting into trouble for harboring a runaway. If the parents call the police to report your cousin's girlfriend as a runaway and your cousin does not notify her parents of her whereabouts within a reasonable amount of time, he may be charged with harboring a runaway.
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