Finger, TN asked in Juvenile Law for Tennessee

Q: can i legally leave home tonight if I am 16 years old (almost 17) and will i be sent to juvenile for it?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brandon D. Fersten
Brandon D. Fersten
  • Juvenile Law Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: If you do not have your parents' permission to leave your house, I would advise against it. If you leave your home without your parents' consent and they call the police, you will be known as a runaway and the court can find that you are an "unruly child" in need of treatment and rehabilitation.

If the court determines that you are an unruly child, the court may place you on probation for up to 12 months (6 months at first then they could extend it another 6 months), or, depending on whether or not you have a criminal history, the court may order that you be placed under supervision or custody of the Department of Children's Services ("DCS").

In short, I recommend that you do not leave your house in the future if your parents do not allow you to do so. It could put you in serious jeopardy of court intervention if your parents end up calling the police on you.

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