Consequences of Escape or Failure to Return to Lawful Detention in NM

Posted on by JACK MKHITARIAN

New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorney - New Mexico Criminal Law OfficesWhen an individual in custody escapes, flees, or fails to return to lawful detainment, the consequences are often very serious. The offender can expect to be criminally charged, and to face added prison time, as well as lose the opportunity for probation or parole. An added charge will be filed against the person, either felony or misdemeanor. The charges will be based upon the original offense (felony or misdemeanor) and the circumstances surrounding the incident. The use of a weapon in the escape (even an ordinary item used as a weapon) will be charged as a felony.

An arrestee or convicted person may make the choice to escape from custody or to fail to report for lawful detention for various reasons, including:

  • The individual had been the victim of physical violence while in custody.
  • The individual felt that the consequences would be minor if again apprehended.
  • The individual suffers from mental illness.
  • The individual had been unable to get needed medical treatment while incarcerated.
  • The individual had been subjected to excessive use of force from guards or other personnel while serving time in jail or prison.
  • The individual had attempted to report abuse or rights violations through proper channels while serving time, and no action was taken.
  • The individual was innocent, but was convicted.
  • The individual was coerced by an outside source.
  • The individual was assisted by an outside source.
  • The individual was in fear of repercussions from a criminal element within the prison environment.

There can be other reasons why a person decides to flee, and it is often a split-second decision when the opportunity arises. The person is rarely aware of the severe repercussions that could come about as a result of fleeing, attempting to flee, or escaping custody or lawful detention. If you or a loved one has been arrested after attempting to, or successfully fleeing, it is advised that you get in touch with a highly-skilled criminal attorney without delay.

Lawful Detention in New Mexico

Those who are convicted of criminal offenses, either felony or misdemeanor, will face prison time, jail time, or alternative penalties, such as time in a secured residential treatment facility or in a community custody release program. Community custody programs allow defendants to participate in community work, rather than enduring a long period of incarceration. Eligibility is based upon an individual’s criminal record, a review of his or her social history, and medical screenings, and varies from program to program. These programs have the advantage of allowing an offender to avoid incarceration, but make it easier to escape. The penalties, however, are not reduced.

Escape or Failure to Return to Lawful Detention

When a convicted criminal escapes or flees from their court-ordered punishment, they are in violation of New Mexico’s criminal code 30-22, sections 8-11. These statutes outline the penalties that will be imposed if an individual escapes from jail, prison, a community custody program, a residential treatment facility, or from the custody of the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD).

An escape from jail will be charged as a fourth degree felony, and an escape from a penitentiary as a second degree felony. Escape from an inmate release program also carries heavy legal consequences, and involves charges filed under the same section of the New Mexico statutes.

Our New Mexico Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

If you or someone you love is serving a sentence for a felony or misdemeanor offense, has escaped detention or been re-arrested, and is now dealing with another criminal charge, connect with us at New Mexico Criminal Defense Law Offices. How these cases are resolved can vary widely; our legal skills and experience could make a big difference in the final outcome. Contact us today.