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What is the fine for someone harboring a runaway that is 17

Resolved Question:

What is the fine for someone harboring a runaway that is 17 and still in high school in the state of texas?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  N Cal Attorney replied 6 years ago.
Please see pages 23-26 of http://www.women-law.org/documents/Youth%20Rights%20in%20DV%20121406.pdf

It is not at all clear that you can report him as a runaway:

It is important to first understand how unclear the laws are regarding runaways in
general. In Texas, one can report a missing minor as a runaway if the teen is 16 years of
age or younger.112 Upon receiving the report, law enforcement has the right to search
for the minor and return her to her custodial parent, legal guardian or agency if
applicable. The Juvenile Justice Code recognizes that a “child” is one under the age of
17, indicating that the runaway law does not apply to 17 year-olds.113 However, the
Texas Penal Code contains laws regarding charges that can be brought up on persons
found to be “harboring a runaway” for housing a minor 17 years-old or younger.114 In
fact, the Texas Government Code allows certain places to be deemed “safety zones” for
runaways under the age of 18.115 Yet, the Texas Penal Code states that not only can a
17 year-old be charged as an adult in criminal proceedings, but is legally able to
consent to sex116, bringing further confusion about the status of a 17 year-old in Texas

Here is the statute on harboring runaways:

§ 25.06. HARBORING RUNAWAY CHILD. (a) A person commits
an offense if he knowingly harbors a child and he is criminally
negligent about whether the child:
          (1) is younger than 18 years; and                                          
          (2) has escaped from the custody of a peace officer, a
probation officer, the Texas Youth Council, or a detention facility
for children, or is voluntarily absent from the child's home
without the consent of the child's parent or guardian for a
substantial length of time or without the intent to return.
     (b) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that
the actor was related to the child within the second degree by
consanguinity or affinity, as determined under Chapter 573,
Government Code.
     (c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that
the actor notified:
          (1) the person or agency from which the child escaped
or a law enforcement agency of the presence of the child within 24
hours after discovering that the child had escaped from custody; or
          (2) a law enforcement agency or a person at the child's
home of the presence of the child within 24 hours after discovering
that the child was voluntarily absent from home without the consent
of the child's parent or guardian.
     (d) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.                   
     (e) On the receipt of a report from a peace officer,
probation officer, the Texas Youth Council, a foster home, or a
detention facility for children that a child has escaped its
custody or upon receipt of a report from a parent, guardian,
conservator, or legal custodian that a child is missing, a law
enforcement agency shall immediately enter a record of the child
into the National Crime Information Center.
From http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.006.00.000025.00.htm#25.06.00

And the punishment:

§ 12.21. CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. An individual adjudged
guilty of a Class A misdemeanor shall be punished by:
          (1) a fine not to exceed $4,000;                                              
          (2) confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one
year; or             
          (3) both such fine and confinement.   
From http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/docs/PE/content/htm/pe.003.00.000012.00.htm#12.21.00

I hope this information is helpful.
N Cal Attorney, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 8238
Experience: since 1983
N Cal Attorney and 8 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

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