Every year, thousands of people escape from correctional settings. While most of these are “walk-aways,” from community corrections programs, escapes do also occur at prisons. A conviction of an escape charge can result in additional terms of confinement in addition to the sentence for the original crime that led to incarceration. This is why it is important to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Depending on how you escape, and how you are caught, your sentence could be very long. In the US, for example, escaping from prison is considered a felony offense and carries up to six years in jail. In Europe, however, they don’t even consider it to be a crime to escape from prison, as long as they don’t hurt anyone or cause any property damage.
For those who assist in an escape, the penalty can be just as harsh. Under federal law, instigating or assisting an escape could carry up to five years in prison, and that prison term must be served consecutively to the sentence for the original crime.
We have seen a number of cases where a person escapes while on home detention, or while they are under pretrial supervision or temporary release. Typically, this occurs when the defendant leaves their house for a brief moment, perhaps to run across the street to get a gallon of milk. These escapes are often charged as a violation of probation, and they could lead to an escape charge.