It isn't every day people call our office with Escape (C.R.S. 18-8-208) charges. However, in the past week we received two such calls. One was from a person charged with Escape in Arapahoe County and one from a person with Jefferson County Escape charges. These calls have prompted me to put some general information out on our blog concerning the crime of Escape.
Under Colorado law, "Escape" is defined as the voluntary departure from lawful custody by a prisoner with the intent to evade the due course of justice. Gallegos v. People, 159 Colo. 379, 411 P.2d 956 (1966).
In Denver County, Weld County, Adams County, and all others in Colorado, the Sheriff will maintain detention facilities. Those facilities may be a jail, a work release program, or a community corrections program and facility. Also, most municipalities like Aurora, Westminster, Eire, or Littleton have jails or detention facilities as well. In addition, the State maintains penal facilities in several locations throughout Colorado. While most people know that breaking out, or walking away from one of those places without authorization is a crime, many do not know that Escape may also be charged under less obvious circumstances.
Whenever a court has imposed any sort of confinement in the Douglas County Work Release, in the Denver County Jail, or even an in-home detention in Arvada, and a convicted person leaves the boundaries or exceeds the time she was authorized to be away from her place of confinement, she may be charged with Escape. In addition, if a person has been charged and lawfully detained, and not yet convicted of certain classes of crimes, he may be charged with Escape. Escape charges may also be filed on individuals that leave a facility run by the Department of Human Services, after that person has been committed there by a court order. This happens when mental health is an issue in the case.
Whether a person has escaped from a penal institution or has simply left his or her area of confinement under home detention, escape is a serious crime with potentially severe consequences. There are legitimate defenses for Escape, but the first step in defending the charge is finding a good lawyer that is able to help in with turning yourself in. The attorney's at the O'Malley Law Office are able to walk you through that process. They will listen to your side of the story and will provide you with the best possible representation.
So if you or someone you know left custody without permission, we recommend that you be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.