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Simplified Law: Escape and Aiding Escape Charges in Denver

Posted by Terry O'Malley | Mar 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

When you read in the news that someone is facing Escape or Aiding Escape charges in Denver, Arapahoe, or Jefferson County, daring and adventurous images come to mind. The motorcycle escape scene from the movie “The Great Escape” is a classic. But, when someone is charged with Escape or Aiding Escape, it is usually after a much-less daring attempt. In today's simplified law blog, let's take a look at these two crimes in order to better understand them.

The Lawyer's Definition of Escape

The legal jargon:

“(1) A person commits a class 2 felony if, while being in custody or confinement following conviction of a class 1 or class 2 felony, he knowingly escapes from said custody or confinement.

(2) A person commits a class 3 felony if, while being in custody or confinement following conviction of a felony other than a class 1 or class 2 felony, he knowingly escapes from said custody or confinement.

(3) A person commits a class 4 felony if, while being in custody or confinement and held for or charged with but not convicted of a felony, he knowingly escapes from said custody or confinement.

(4) A person commits a class 3 misdemeanor if, while being in custody or confinement following a conviction of a misdemeanor or petty offense or a violation of a municipal ordinance, he or she knowingly escapes from said place of custody or confinement.

(4.5) A person commits a class 3 misdemeanor if he or she has been committed to the division of youth corrections in the department of human services for a delinquent act, is over eighteen years of age, and escapes from a staff secure facility as defined in section 19-1-103 (101.5), C.R.S.., other than a state operated locked facility.

(5) A person commits a class 1 petty offense if, while being in custody or confinement and held for or charged with but not convicted of a misdemeanor or petty offense or violation of a municipal ordinance, he or she knowingly escapes from said custody or confinement.

(6) A person who knowingly escapes confinement while being confined pursuant to a commitment under article 8 of title 16, C.R.S.:

(a) Commits a class 1 misdemeanor if the person had been charged with a misdemeanor at the proceeding in which the person was committed, if in the escape the person does not travel from the state of Colorado;

(b) Commits a class 1 misdemeanor if the person had been charged with a felony at the proceeding in which the person was committed, if in the escape the person does not travel from the state of Colorado;

(c) Commits a class 5 felony if the person had been charged with a felony at the proceeding in which the person was committed, if in the escape the person travels outside of the state of Colorado.

(7) In a prosecution for an offense under subsection (6) of this section, it shall be a defense for any person who, while being confined pursuant to a commitment under article 8 of title 16, C.R.S., escapes and who voluntarily returns to the place of confinement.

(8) A person commits a class 5 felony if he knowingly escapes while in custody or confinement pursuant to the provisions of article 19 of title 16, C.R.S.

(9) The minimum sentences provided by sections 18-1.3-401, 18-1.3-501, respectively, for violation of the provisions of this section shall be mandatory, and the court shall not grant probation or a suspended sentence, in whole or in part; except that the court may grant a suspended sentence if the court is sentencing a person to the youthful offender system pursuant to section 18-1.3-407. The provisions of this subsection (9) do not apply to subsection (4.5) of this section.

(10) Repealed

(11) A person who is placed in a community corrections program for purposes of obtaining residential treatment as a condition of probation pursuant to section 18-1.3- 204 (2.2) or 18-1.3-301 (4) (b) is not in custody or confinement for purposes of this section.

Facing Escape charges?

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The Simple Definition of Escape

The simplified version:

“Aperson will be charged with escape if they escape custody or confinement while being detained after a conviction or after being charged with a crime. They will be convicted of a:

  • Class 2 felony if the escape occurred after a conviction of a class 1 or 2 felony.
  • Class 3 felony if the escape occurred after a conviction of a felony other than a class 1 or 2.
  • Class 4 felony if the escape occurred after being charged with but not convicted of a felony.
  • Class 3 misdemeanor if the escape occurred after a conviction of a misdemeanor or petty offense.
  • Class 3 misdemeanor if the escape occurred after someone was committed to the division of youth corrections and is over 18 years old.
  • Class 1 petty offense if the escape occurred after being charged with but not convicted of a misdemeanor or petty offense violation.”

A Better Definition of Escape

As you can see, the statute doesn't even cover definitions of what “escaping” really is. A better definition can be found in case law Gallegos v. People 159 Colo. 379 411 P.2d 956 (1966):

Escape is defined as the “voluntary departure from lawful custody by a prisoner with the intent to evade the due course of justice.”

Examples of Escape and Aiding Escape Charges

Image Credit: Pixabay – PublicDomainPictures

Laughable Arrest

Ryan and his friends love to party. Regularly, he and his friends meet, listening to loud music and drinking in parks and other public areas. One day, they meet at a park in Highlands Ranch. They blast loud music from their speakers, and begin playing volleyball. Other people at the park are offended by the noise they are making, and one of them calls the police. An officer shows up and approaches the group, warning them to turn off their music because they are making “unreasonable noise.” Ryan laughs it off, saying he has every right to be at the park playing his music. The officer is annoyed by his response, and angrily tells him he is under arrest. Ryan panics, and takes off running, hoping to escape custody. The officer finds him at his home later, and Ryan now faces Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, and Escape charges in Douglas County.

Image Credit: Pixabay – rhonda_jenkins

Work Release Mix-up

Gregory was convicted of Criminal Mischief,  Domestic Violence in El Paso County after a bad breakup. He hired an aggressive attorney who was able to get him a favorable plea agreement allowing work release. Gregory is thrilled he won't lose his job at a local car dealership – after all, he has two young children he pays child support for. According to the conditions of his probation and work release, he must be back at the El Paso County jail every night by 5:30pm. One day, on his way home, Gregory is in a car accident. It isn't serious, but it takes Gregory all afternoon to deal with the situation. He feels groggy and tired, and he's not used to his new life and schedule. He calls his friend Jared to pick him up, and without thinking, heads home instead of going to the jail. Unfortunately, Gregory is now facing Escape charges, and his friend Jared is facing Aiding Escape charges for picking him up and taking him home.

You could face a felony conviction for committing this crime – even if you helped a friend unwittingly.

Facing Escape Charges? Why You Need a Lawyer

It's not difficult to be charged with Escape in Boulder, Grand, or Pitkin County. Failing to return to jail after work release, walking away from a community corrections facility, or running from the police can result in Escape charges. And, helping a friend commit Escape – even unwittingly – can result in Aiding Escape charges. The police take this crime seriously – you could face a felony conviction. Don't ignore the charges against you or accept a plea agreement to escape a longer sentence. Instead, contact one of our expert criminal defense lawyers to aggressively fight on your behalf and get you the best possible outcome in your case.

Get Help Now

If you or a loved one is facing Escape or Aiding Escape charges, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. We can also visit your family member in the Denver or Arapahoe County Jail. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation

About the Author

Terry O'Malley

Get Help Now! Request a Free Consultation Meet Criminal Defense Attorney Terry O'Malley If you have been charged with a crime, you are probably dealing with strong emotions about your upcoming court appearance. You are struggling with knowing how to choose a trustworthy lawyer to represent you...

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Get Help Now

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in the Denver area, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact the best criminal defense lawyers at O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future. Request a Free Consultation

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