Tulsa, Oklahoma law frowns upon prison escape. Escaping prison can add years of time to an already long sentence.
Prison Escape Laws
Oklahoma law states that if a prisoner escapes, that person can be pursued, recaptured. and imprisoned again even if the prison term for which he or she was originally sentenced has expired. If caught, you can remain in jail again until either you are tried for the escape, the matter is discharged, or the prosecutor fails to prosecute the crime. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 431
This can be particularly harsh if the person who is engaging in a prison escape has served all or most of his or her sentenced.
In essence, once in the hands of the Department of Corrections, you remain in their custody until released. If you try to leave early, the repercussions can be severe.
For example, an attempted escape from an Oklahoma state penitentiary through the use of force or fraud will subject you to a possible felony conviction for the mere attempt — even if the attempt fails. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 434
If the escape attempt is from a state prison rather than a penitentiary, you could be convicted of a felony. This is punishable by up to a year in county jail, a term which will begin after the expiration of your original sentence. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 436
Prison Escape Sentences are Harsh
For the purposes of the law, “prison” means different things.
You may not escape from a county or city jail while lawfully detained or while awaiting charges on a felony offense or escape from the custody of the Department of Corrections while awaiting trial or once sentenced and awaiting transport to prison.
Also, if you are out on bail and fail to appear at trial, you could be considered an escaped prisoner.
If you leave the building during a hearing and fail to return, you have committed prison escape.
All these aforementioned acts, or the attempt to commit them, can subject you to a felony charge. You could spend an additional one to seven years in prison if convicted. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 443
Alternative jail programs involving check-ins and monitoring devices are becoming more popular. These programs depend on trust. And the law treats an escapee from these programs even more harshly.
Thus, anyone who escapes from the custody of the Department of Corrections, or from an alternative to incarceration while assigned to the Pre-Parole Conditional Supervision Program, or while acting as a trusty, could spend two to seven years in prison.
Prison Escape Can Mean More Than a Breakout
Under Oklahoma law, if you fail to report to a correction facility as directed, or you cannot be located for a 24-hour period while assigned to the Pre-Parole Conditional Supervision Program, or remove a monitoring device, you could be considered an escaped prisoner. This felony crime could net you an additional two to seven years of incarceration.
In addition, your other felony convictions can be used by a judge to increase the amount of time you will serve in prison on an escape charge.
Finally, if a youthful offender who has been placed in a juvenile detention center escapes, he or she could be found guilty of a felony. This is punishable by one to three years in prison.
Escaping or trying to escape while lawfully in the custody of a peace officer or removing an electronic monitoring device, can also lead to severe consequences.
If you are being charged with a misdemeanor crime, the escape or device removal itself will be punishable as an additional misdemeanor.
An existing felony charge against you will make the escape or device removal chargeable as a separate felony. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 444
Finally, it is also illegal in Oklahoma to enter a jail or prison if you are not authorized to do so. This felony crime is punishable by one to five years of incarceration, or a fine from $500 to $1,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 445
If you are facing time behind bars, it can be tempting to try to escape the situation. But Oklahoma treats escapes and escape attempts harshly. Any escape or attempt will add years to your jail or prison time.
If you are facing any charge related to escaping, consult with an experienced Tulsa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Free Consultation with a Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney
Small facts may make a big difference in your defense against a prison escape charge in Oklahoma. We can help. Your initial consultation is free.
Call Wirth Law Office – Tulsa at 918-879-1681 or toll free at 1-888-Wirth-Law (1-888-947-8452). You can also submit the question form at the top right of this page.