In the United States, it is unlawful to provide assistance to someone who is attempting to escape from lawful custody. This means if you help someone try to escape from prison, you can face serious criminal charges for doing so.
In fact, assisting with an escape could actually result in federal charges.
Being charged with a federal crime is much more serious than facing charges on the state level and defendants need to ensure they have done everything possible to develop a strategic response to charges if they are accused of a federal offense.
LV Criminal Defense can provide the representation you need. We help defendants accused of violating laws prohibiting escape and rescue of a person who is being lawfully held by authorities.
We can provide representation to defendants in California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and surrounding areas and we can put our extensive knowledge of federal criminal law to work to help ensure that you get the best outcomes possible if you have been charged with an escape offense. To find out more about how our federal criminal defense lawyers can help, give us a call today.
Nick Wooldridge has a long track record of representing clients accused of serious federal and state crimes in Nevada.
Federal laws on escape and rescue are found in 18 U.S. Code chapter 35. There are eight different statutes within Chapter 35; however, one of those statutes has been repealed. The remaining statutes address escape and rescue offenses related to the following:
Each different statute within Chapter 35 defines a specific type of unlawful conduct, establishes what a prosecutor would need to prove for someone to be convicted of a particular offense, and imposes penalties upon a defendant who is convicted.
For example, 18 U.S. code section 751 stipulates that it is unlawful to escape, or to attempt to escape, from the custody of the Attorney General; an authorized representative of the Attorney General; or from any institution that the defendant was ordered by the Attorney General to be confined in. It’s also unlawful to escape from the custody of officials or from confinement ordered under the laws of the United States.
The specific penalties can vary based on the circumstances. A defendant who escapes from custody when he was in custody because of felony charges can be fined and sentenced to up to five years imprisonment. A defendant who escapes from custody when he was in custody because of misdemeanor charges or was involved in proceedings related to immigration could be sentenced to a year of imprisonment.
18 U.S. Code section 752, on the other hand, defines the offense of instigating or assisting escape. The penalty for assisting with an escape could include up to five years of imprisonment for helping someone who escapes custody or confinement when that individual is being held under felony charges. For helping someone escape from custody when that person is being held under misdemeanor charges or under immigration laws, the maximum penalty is a year of imprisonment.
The law also prohibits officials from aiding escapes as well. For example, 18 U.S. Code section 755 establishes the penalties in circumstances where an officer permits escape. According to the relevant law, an officer who has a prisoner in custody in accordance with the law or a judge’s order can be fined or imprisoned for up to five years for intentionally helping the prisoner to escape or could be fined and imprisoned for up to one year for negligently allowing a prisoner to escape.
Federal laws also impose more serious penalties in circumstances where a defendant helps a prisoner of war to escape or helps enemy aliens. For example, when a prisoner of war is held by the United States or is held by an ally of the United States, a defendant who aids that person in escaping can be fined and imprisoned for up to 10 years.
The statute specifies many different kinds of assistance that a defendant is prohibited from providing, including advising on escape, concealing the person who is escaping, sheltering or protecting the escapee, or aiding, relieving, transporting, harboring, or concealing the escapee. Having correspondence with the prisoner of war or enemy alien can also result in criminal charges, as can providing intelligence to that prisoner or enemy alien. However, a defendant can be convicted only if the defendant knew the person who was being aided was an enemy alien or a prisoner of war.
Because each of these statutes imposes different types of penalties and has its own specific definition of the offense, it is important to understand what the law requires a prosecutor prove and what possible consequences you could face if convicted.
A federal criminal defense lawyer can provide help to those accused of wrongdoing in fighting against accusations of wrongdoing connected with helping someone to escape from custody.
LV Criminal Defense can provide comprehensive help and support to defendants who have been accused of violating any of the statutes within Chapter 35 or to defendants who have otherwise been accused of wrongdoing in connection with any criminal conduct under federal law.
We represent clients in Nevada, Utah, Oregon, California and Arizona and our federal criminal defense law firm has the knowledge and experience necessary to help defendants to get the best outcomes possible. To find out more about how our firm can help you, give us a call today.