San Benito Runaway found safe

SAN BENITO — San Benito police have located the runaway who left her home over the Spring Break holiday.

Police say 16-year-old Perla Guadalupe Gallegos ran away to participate in Spring Break activities on South Padre Island.

However, she didn’t come back.

According to police yesterday morning, she was found and is safe.

Because she is a juvenile, police aren’t releasing many details on the situation.

However, Police Chief Michael Galvan said his department received information that she was at a San Benito location where she was found and taken into custody.

“She is being interviewed as to where she has been since she left. She will be returned to her family as soon as she is processed,” Galvan said.

So now what happens?

As for the legal consequences for running away from home, that’s up to the juvenile courts to decide.

“We forward all runaway information to the juvenile justice court. It is up to them on how it is handled,” Galvan said.

Since most of these cases deal with children under 17, not much is made public about what happens in situations like this.

The 2016 Juvenile Justice Handbook from the Texas Attorney Generals Office outlines what could happen in the case of runaways.

There are two types of juvenile misconduct that place a child under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court: CINS (children in need of service) and delinquent conduct.

CINS cases involve the least serious criminal offenses, other than traffic offenses, and also certain noncriminal conduct, commonly referred to as status offenses.

“A status offense occurs when a juvenile is charged with engaging in conduct that would not be prohibited for an adult,” the handbook states.

There are six types of CINS offenses listed in the Family Code:

• Any fineable offense

• Running away

• Inhalant abuse

• Expulsion for violation of a district’s student code of conduct

• Prostitution

• Sexting

If a juvenile court finds that a child has committed a CINS violation, it may place the youth on varying levels of probation, but it cannot sentence the offender.