Many people think of escape charges as resulting from a prison break. However, escape can be charged in many situations other than literally escaping from a jail cell. For example, one man recently faced escape charges for leaving a hospital. He was not in handcuffs and there were no officers present, however, he was considered to be an escapee simply by walking out the hospital door.
The man had been in police custody when medical issues required a stay in a nearby NJ hospital. The judge adjusted his bail status to conditional release on your own recognizance, or conditional ROR. This means that the court is trusting that you will report back to court or jail when required to do so. In this case, the hospital was supposed to notify the police when the man was ready to be released and the man had signed a paper stating he would not leave on his own. Reports allege that the man did leave on his own and he is now facing escape charges in addition to the charges he already faced.
Escape Charges in NJ
Under New Jersey law, you can be charged with escape in many situations, including if the prosecutor believes any of the following:
- You were under arrest and left the police car or station without permission;
- You left prison or jail without permission;
- You did not properly report to a parole officer during supervised parole;
- You were supposed to return to a halfway house, police station, or jail and did not do so.
The penalties for escape are serious, as you could face five to ten years of additional prison time, depending on your criminal record. To make matters worse, many convicted escape offenders are required to serve their prison sentence in a maximum security prison due to the risk they will try to escape again. Maximum security prisons are the most dangerous facilities to be incarcerated. Finally, people who have been convicted of escape will likely not be eligible for parole or halfway houses.
There are defenses for escape charges and, if you have been accused of escape, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer for help.
Call an Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
At the Law Offices of Leon Matchin, we can help you fight against your escape charges. Call our experienced criminal defense attorney for help at 732-662-7658 today.