Hire a Lawyer for Your Escape from Prison Charges
The term “escape from prison” has many other criminal charges attached to it, and depending on your case, you may face multiple charges in connection to your escape or attempted escape. Aiding a prisoner in escape, or allowing them to escape while they are in your custody, gets prosecuted in a court of law.
If you’re facing federal charges relating to escaping from prison, the Zoukis Consulting Group can help. Call us now for a free consultation, and learn more about these charges below.
How Does the Law Define Escaping from Prison?
The Department of Justice defines escape from prison as “a voluntary departure from custody which requires that the escapee know that his/her actions would result in his/her leaving physical confinement without permission.”
The degree of the crime varies depending on what kind of imprisonment the escapee was under.
For example, you don’t have to escape from behind prison walls. If they have arrested you and you attempt to escape, that is also a crime, since you are leaving custody of your own volition.
Each state has its statutes regarding the escape from prison. For example, in Virginia, the punishment for escape varies depending on whether you used any force, violence, or property damage in your escape. It also depends on the severity of the crime someone originally imprisoned you for.
Additionally, it is a federal crime to escape from federal custody.
Prison breach is a more serious kind of escape from prison and is more severely punished. Prison breach considers the involvement and use of force, violence, or damage of property.
Law enforcement can charge you with aiding escape if you help someone else escape from prison. It is also a crime to instigate an escape or conspire to assist in an escape attempt. The statute includes many kinds of assistance that qualify as aiding in a prison escape, including:
- Conspiring in or advising an escape
- Harboring or concealing an escaped prisoner
- Transporting the escapee
- Protecting the escapee
To get a conviction of assisting escape, the prosecution has to prove that you believed you were helping an escaped prisoner and intended to help them evade the authorities.
If you are an official who has a prisoner in custody, they can charge you for aiding that prisoner in escaping custody. The penalty is more severe if you assist them willingly, but there are still substantial penalties for allowing a prisoner to escape through neglecting your duties as an official.
What if They Imprisoned Me for a Crime I Did Not Commit?
Escape from prison is still a crime, even if your arrest was wrongful. A wrongful arrest has to be contested in court and escaping impedes the due process of the law.
For the process of justice to operate in an orderly manner, a prisoner must not have the privilege of determining if confinement proceeds or not.
What if I Didn’t Escape?
You can be charged even if you were trying to escape prison and never actually escaped. When determining whether you committed a crime, the court considers your intent in committing the crime, and if an attempt was made to commit a crime. Attempting to escape is the crime being prosecuted, regardless of if you were successful or not.
Prosecution and Charges
Your sentence for escaping from prison depends on the circumstances of your offense. If you were originally imprisoned for committing a felony, you can face up to five years of imprisonment and a fine. If they incarcerated you for misdemeanor charges, they could sentence you to a year of imprisonment.
They similarly base the penalties for assisting in escape on what they imprisoned the prisoner for. If they imprisoned the person you helped to escape for felony charges, your sentence would be up to five years in prison. If the person you helped escape was being held for a misdemeanor, they could sentence you to up to one year or imprisonment.
They can also prosecute officials for aiding a prisoner in escaping. If you are an officer charged with helping a prisoner escape, they can fine and sentence you up to five years. If you did not aid the prisoner’s escape but allowed them to escape through negligence, they can demote, fire, fine, or/and imprison you for up to one year.
We Can Defend You Against Federal Escape from Prison Charges
If your escape from prison charges confuse you, you need experts to help you navigate the complexities of the legal system. Regardless of your problem, our defense lawyers can help you advocate for your needs before, during, and after your incarceration.
Call the Zoukis Consulting Group today for a free consultation.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on Feb 15, 2022 at 12:38 pm