Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Harboring a Runaway Child Charges in Iowa

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Iowa Criminal Law » Harboring a Runaway Child Charges in Iowa

The crime of harboring a runaway child is defined in Iowa Code Secion 710.9 as follows:


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a. “Criminal act” means the violation of any federal or state law.

b. “Harbor” means to provide aid, support, or shelter.

c. “Runaway child” means a person under eighteen years of age who is voluntarily absent from the person’s home without the consent of the person’s parent, guardian, or custodian.


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2. A person shall not harbor a runaway child with the intent of committing a criminal act involving the child or with the intent of enticing or forcing the runaway child to commit a criminal act.

3. A person shall not harbor a runaway child with the intent of allowing the runaway child to remain away from home against the wishes of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian. However, the provisions of this subsection do not apply to a shelter care home which is licensed or approved by the department of human services.

4. A person convicted of a violation of this section is guilty of an aggravated misdemeanor.


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Harboring a runaway child in Iowa is an aggravated misdemeanor, which is punishable by a sentence of 2 years in prison.


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