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Question: I am 17 years old, currently 7 months away from being 18. My parents do not want me visiting my boyfriend who lives about 15 miles away from me on the weekends. I am determined to walk that distance every weekend and back, but never stay the night. My mother wants to forcibly keep me from going. I would never miss school if I did this. Can she call the police and make them drag me back to the house?

Answer:

Arizona Law (A.R.S. §25-511) makes it a class 6 felony (imprisonment for 1 year and up to a $150,000 fine) if the parent of a minor child knowingly fails to furnish reasonable support for the parent's child. Parents are responsible to provide proper parental care and control over their child/ren. This includes providing adequate food, shelter, and clothing. Arizona Law (A.R.S. § 8-201(15)) defines an incorrigible child as someone who:

 •is determined by the courts to be a child who refuses to obey the reasonable and proper orders or directions of a parent, guardian or custodian, and who is beyond the control of that person;

•routinely or habitually skips school;

•is a runaway from the child's home or parent, guardian or custodian; •routinely or habitually behaves in such a manner as to injure or endanger the morals or health of self or others;

•commits any act constituting an offense that can only be committed by a minor and that is not designated as a delinquent act; or

•fails to obey any lawful order of a court of competent jurisdiction given in a non criminal action.

Some of the potential consequences of being found incorrigible include being fined, be placed on probation, and being ordered to do community service. The specific charges and consequences are left up to the officer of the court.

 

QUESTIONS

  • I am 17 years old, currently 7 months away from being 18. My parents do not want me visiting my boyfriend who lives about 15 miles away from me on the weekends. I am determined to walk that distance every weekend and back, but never stay the night. My mother wants to forcibly keep me from going. I would never miss school if I did this. Can she call the police and make them drag me back to the house?

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