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Escape

Clearwater Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending Your Rights

In 2016 in Broward County Florida, an inmate by the name of Dayonte Resiles was brought into a courtroom for a routine status hearing. Mr. Resiles was facing several criminal accusations including murder. He was shackled at the wrists and ankles and brought in along with several other inmates through a secure entrance in the courthouse. A few minutes into the hearings that day, Mr. Resiles undid his handcuffs with a smuggled handcuff key, lept out of his chair and ran past the deputies to accomplices waiting outside with a change of clothes. Mr. Resiles then ran down the open stairs and out an unlocked door to freedom.

Well… temporarily at least. Dayonte Resiles’ escape triggered a nationwide manhunt and, within a matter of weeks, he was apprehended by authorities and brought back to face his criminal charges. This time, Mr. Resiles would be charged with a new crime, that of escape. When most people think of criminal escape, we think of grand escape plans portrayed on TV and in movies such as those from Alcatraz prison or the recent prison break from Dannemora Clinton Correctional Facility in New York. And while dramatic escapes like that certainly exist, the criminal act of escape can actually include much less overt and climactic facts. Whether the facts of your case are over the top or mundane, escape is a serious criminal offense and, if charged, you should seek out an experienced Clearwater criminal defense lawyer right away.

Elements of Escape

Florida Statute 944.40 states that “Any prisoner confined in, or released on furlough from, any prison, jail, private correctional facility, road camp, or other penal institution, whether operated by the state, a county, or a municipality, or operated under a contract with the state, a county, or a municipality, working upon the public roads, or being transported to or from a place of confinement who escapes or attempts to escape from such confinement commits” the offense of escape. In preparing your defense it is important that your lawyer have a full understanding of the nuances of the criminal statute.

For example, popular media like “Cops” and other true crime reality TV shows often depict the immediate aftermath of police citizen encounters and traffic stops. Consider this common occurrence: an officer makes a traffic stop on a car and discovers that the driver has a warrant for his arrest. The driver pulls over, opens the door and immediately takes off running, triggering a foot chase with the police. While this action might constitute a charge of resisting arrest, or fleeing and eluding, it does not rise to the level of the criminal charge for escape. This is because in order to be convicted of escape, the state must prove that at the time you escaped, you were in the custody of a jail or prison. Understanding the nuances of every criminal statute is important to crafting the best defense for criminal charges, so it is important that you retain a knowledgeable Clearwater criminal defense lawyer for your case.

Penalties for Escape

The criminal charge of escape differentiates itself from other criminal laws in the way that it handles punishments. Escape is a second degree felony, which means that the maximum penalty is fifteen years in prison and it is much more difficult to avoid a felony conviction if you plea or are found guilty by a jury. The difference for a conviction of escape is how the sentence must be applied. Since you must be serving a prison or jail sentence already in order to be officially charged with escape, if you are convicted, you will receive a consecutive sentence. This means that whatever sentence you receive will be added on top of the sentence that you are receiving.

Speak to Our Lawyers Today

The attorneys at Hanlon Law have the experience and skills necessary to achieve the best results for you and your loved ones. Speak to us today at (727) 897-5413.

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