I believe when minors runaway from home, they are somewhat considered criminals merely for that. As in, even if they have done nothing that would be considered illegal if they were adult, they can be detained by police, and then taken home or to juvenile facilities or whatever against their will.
How about the magic moment they turn 18? Does that criminal status immediately go away and there are no ‘lingering’ effects?
As in, say a sixteen year old girl runs away with her boyfriend, and the parents report her to the police for this. She and boyfriend just go somewhere and live peacefully for a while – get jobs, rent a room off of some other person, just live without committing any other crime. Well, except for probably committing ‘guilty of perjury’ things by lying about their names on work applications and so forth.
So one day before Mary turns 18, some cop happens to recognize her and takes her to the police station, and they call her parents. (I’m assuming that’s what they do?) Anyway, parents are all happy and say they’ll come and get her…but it’s late in the day and they’re hundreds of miles away, and they can’t get there until the next day.
Do the police keep Mary overnight, then just automatically turn her loose the next morning? Because she is then an adult and has every right to choose to live wherever she wants regardless of her parents?
Or is she still ‘guilty’ because she HAD been a runaway, and so they hold her for that? Do they continue to hold her until her parents will arrive at noon the next day and turn her over to them anyway? Or do something else restricting her at that point?
Do they sort of acknowledge pragmatic reality the previous day, that nothing worthy of police intervention is going on, tell the parents not to bother, and turn her loose immediately?