A persons commits an offense when he or she escapes from custody while he or she is under arrest, is charged with, or is convicted of an offense or while he or she is in custody pursuant to any lawful order of a court. An escape is an unauthorized departure from custody or a failure to return to custody after a permitted absence. Violation of parole or supervised release does not constitute an escape.
The word “custody” for purposes of an escape means being under arrest. An “arrest” means being taken into custody. An arrest must be complete in order for a person to be charged with escape. An arrest is complete when a person’s liberty is restricted or restrained and when the person has a reasonable belief that he or she is not free to leave. The fact that a law enforcement officer tells the person that he or she is under arrest does not make the arrest complete. The person must be taken into custody in order to make the arrest complete.
A person does not need to completely evade the control of law enforcement officers in order to be guilty of an escape. If the person removes himself or herself from a place of confinement, he or she has escaped. For example, if the person leaves his or her cell in a jail or a prison without authorization and goes to an unauthorized area, the person is guilty of escape, even though he or she may still be within the confines of the jail or the prison.
An indictment or an information charging a defendant with escape must allege the reasons for the defendant’s confinement. The indictment or the information must allege that the defendant was under arrest, was charged with, or was convicted of an offense. The indictment or the information cannot allege any other reason for the defendant’s confinement.
An indictment or an information charging a defendant with escape does not need to allege the offense for which the defendant was confined. However, if the indictment or the information alleges the offense, it must show that the offense was a legally recognizable offense.
An indictment or an information charging a defendant with escape must allege that the defendant was in custody at the time of his or her escape. The indictment or the information must allege the specific person or the specific entity that had custody of the defendant. The indictment or the information does not need to allege the manner in which the defendant escaped.
The fact that a defendant’s custody was unlawful is not a defense to the offense of escape. However, the defendant does have a right to claim as a defense that his or her escape was a necessity because of the conditions of his or her confinement. The defendant must prove that escape was the only reasonable alternative, that his or her initial departure and continued absence were justified, and that he or she attempted to surrender or to return to custody after the conditions that created the necessity ceased.
The offense of escape is normally punished as a misdemeanor. The offense may be punished as a felony if a defendant was in custody as a result of his or her arrest or conviction for a felony, if the defendant was confined in a secure correctional facility, or if the defendant caused bodily injury or used a deadly weapon during his or her escape.
A person commits an offense if he or she provides a person in custody with a deadly weapon or any other implement that may facilitate the person’s escape. The offense of providing implements for an escape is normally punished as a felony.
A person commits an offense if he or she permits or facilitates the escape of a person who is in custody. An employee or an official of a correctional facility may be charged with this offense if he or she permits or facilitates the escape of an inmate. The offense of permitting or facilitating an escape is normally punished as a misdemeanor. The offense may be punished as a felony if the inmate was in custody for a felony, if a deadly weapon was used in the escape, or if the inmate was confined to a secure correctional facility.
A person also commits an offense if he or she, with the intent to hinder the arrest, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another person, harbors or conceals the other person; aids or provides the other person with the means to avoid arrest; or warns the other person of detention or apprehension. However, if a person warns another person in order to cause the other person to comply with the law, the person is not guilty of hindering an arrest or a prosecution. The offense of hindering an arrest or a prosecution is normally punished as a misdemeanor, unless the other person has been charged with a felony.
A person commits the offense of failure to appear when he or she has been released from custody on the condition that he or she will appear in court at a future date and when he or she intentionally or knowingly fails to appear in court. Whether the person has been released with or without bail is not relevant to the offense of failure to appear.
In order to be found guilty of the offense of failure to appear, the prosecution must prove that a defendant had notice of the terms of his or her release and of the proceeding at which the defendant failed to appear. The offense does not apply to supervised release or parole. The defendant is entitled to claim as a defense that he or she had a reasonable explanation for his or her failure to appear. The fear of appearing in court is not a defense. The punishment for the offense of failure to appear depends upon the type of offense for which the defendant was required to appear. If the underlying offense was a misdemeanor, the offense is normally punished as a misdemeanor. If the underlying offense was a felony, the offense is punished as a felony.