Did you know that Escape does not have to be from a jail or prison? Escape, C.R.S. 18-8-208, can be charged under the most innocent of circumstances and does not have to be a movie-type break out of a secured facility. Escape is classified anywhere from a class 2 felony all the way down to a class one petty offense. The distinction is based on whether the escape if before or following a conviction, and the seriousness of the charged offense. In some cases, leaving the State of Colorado following an escape increases the level of severity of this offense.
Escape doesn’t have to be a movie-type break out of a secured facility.
What Conduct Amounts to Escape?
To best understand why the penalty for this crime varies so much, we need to understand what escape is technically. It is the departure from law enforcement, jail, or prison custody. Once a person is arrested, they are in the custody of police. So, something as simple as running away from an officer after he has told someone they are “under arrest” or “sit over there you are under arrest,” amounts to escape. You do not have to be behind bars.
Escape Definition is Vague
While leaving a jail or prison without the permission of the sheriff or court is clearly escape, imagine the gray line which some may see when a person on work release fails to return to the jail at night or returns late. When is it a crime? Or, imagine the person who is in Community Corrections and fails to return following a lawful release for work or medical care. Furloughs are sometimes granted from a jail or prison sentence for an inmate to attend a funeral or visit a dying person. The failure to return as instructed would be considered escape, but at what point?
Mandatory jail time underscores the importance of working with an experienced attorney.
Mandatory Jail or Prison for Escape in Larimer County
Most notable about Escape, is that a judge is not permitted to grant probation to someone convicted of this crime. C.R.S. 18-8-208(9) provides, “the minimum sentences provided by sections 18-1.3-401, 18-1.3-501 and 18-1.3-503 . . . shall be mandatory, and the court shall not grant probation or a suspended sentence, in whole or in part.” This law underscores the need for a lawyer skilled in criminal defense. Success at trial or plea bargaining can result in a no-jail agreement with the deputy District Attorney, under the right circumstances.
Contact one of our experienced Fort Collins and Loveland criminal defense lawyers for the best chance at avoiding mandatory jail for an escape charge, at 970-658-0007, or submit the “Get Help Now” form. Together, we can protect your future.