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Assault While Escaping Incarceration

Assault While Escaping Incarceration

According to the Colorado Revised Statutes 18-8-202, it’s a crime for any person who is being lawfully detained in a jail, prison, or other penal institution to escape or aid anyone who is fleeing. The crime of escape under C.R.S. is charged based on the initial crime the offender committed that resulted in detention. If the offender was convicted/charged with a felony offense, then they will face a felony upon conviction. Those attempting to escape from misdemeanor charges/conviction will face a misdemeanor offense.

However, there are instances where the crime of escape is automatically charged as a felony. If any type of assault with a deadly weapon occurred during the commission of the defendant’s escape, then they will automatically face felony charges. If the defendant was initially convicted/charged with a class 1 felony, then they will face an additional class 1 felony charge for escaping or attempting to escape. These crimes carry life-changing sentences that could put you behind bars for years, and in some cases for life.

Colorado Assault While Escaping Incarceration Attorneys

Committing assault with the intent to commit bodily injury upon another with a deadly weapon or serious bodily injury is an automatic felony offense. If you’ve been accused of this crime, you’ll need legal representation as soon as possible. You only have a limited amount of time to craft a formidable defense against your charges, so you need to act quickly.

Contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC for a well-crafted and effective legal defense for your charges. Our attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC have decades of collective experience we can utilize for your case. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC and their legal team can collect evidence, call upon expert witnesses, file effective motions, and do whatever possible to secure reduced or dismissed charges for your case. Call today at (719) 328-1616 or submit an online contact form to schedule your first consultation today.

Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs and El Paso County area including Monument, Fountain, Peyton, Calhan, Manitou Springs, and Falcon. We also have a secondary location in the city of Denver, Colorado.

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What Does the Charge of Escape Mean?

Any attempt or successful escape from jail, prison, police holding cell, or any other detention facility including those reserved for mental health is illegal under the Colorado Revised Statutes. It’s important to note that escaping also comprises of “walking away” from a work release facility or a residential or non-residential community corrections facility.

The elements for the crime of escape can be found under the Colorado Revised Statutes 18-8-208. These elements include:

  • The defendant committed a voluntary act
  • The act constituted a departure from a penal institution, or any other form of lawful custody defined under the Colorado Revised Statutes
  • The act was committed knowingly, meaning the defendant was aware their actions were prohibited under Colorado law

As you can see, escape is classified as a general intent crime. Essentially, this means the defendant can be convicted of escape even if they had no intentions to free themselves from incarceration. Any action that directly resulted in the departure of lawful custody qualifies as escape under the Colorado Revised Statutes.

It’s also important to note that the statute of limitations for escaping does not start while the defendant is out of custody. The statute of limitations to press criminal charges for escape will begin once the defendant has been caught by law enforcement.


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Assault During Escape in Colorado

The State of Colorado determines the penalties for escape or aiding escape based on the original criminal offense for which the prisoner was in custody for. If the defendant was charged with a felony, then they would likely face a felony-level charge for escaping. Defendants escaping with a misdemeanor charge/conviction will face a misdemeanor instead.

However, if the defendant, while escaping or attempting to escape, commits an assault with intent to commit bodily injury upon another with a deadly weapon, or by any means of force likely to produce serious bodily injury, they will instead face an automatic felony offense. Please note the definitions for the following terms so you can have a better understanding of what constitutes assault during escape.

  • Bodily Injury – Physical harm, illness, or damage to a person’s physical/mental condition.
  • Serious Bodily Injury – Any injury, either at the time of the injury or later on, that has a substantial risk of death, permanent disfigurement, protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body, or any breaks, fractures, or third-degree or second-degree burns.
  • Deadly Weapons – The term deadly weapon under Colorado law means any firearm, knife, bludgeon, or any other material or device that is capable of killing another person or inflicting serious bodily injury.

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Penalty for Assault During Escape in Colorado

Similar to other escape-related crimes, the penalties for assault during escape will depend on the original charge/conviction that caused the defendant’s detention. The penalties for assault during escape are as follows:

  • The defendant was in custody, confinement, held for, charged with, or convicted of a misdemeanor or petty offense – Class 3 Felony
    • Maximum of 12 years in prison
    • Mandatory parole for 3 years
    • Fine ranging from $3,000 to $750,000
  • The defendant was in custody, confinement, held for, charged with but not convicted of a felony offense – Class 3 Felony
    • Maximum of 12 years in prison
    • Mandatory parole for 3 years
    • Fine ranging from $3,000 to $750,000
  • The defendant was convicted of a felony other than a class 1 felony—Class 2 Felony
    • Maximum of 24 years
    • Mandatory parole for 3 years
    • Fine ranging from $5,000 to $1 million
  • The defendant was convicted of a class 1 felony—Class 1 Felony
    • Life imprisonment

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Escape As A Continuing Crime

An essential caveat to an assault during escape charge involves the timeframe during which the crime occurs. Although many may assume that the “escape” element of the crime is completed as soon as an inmate escapes from their place of confinement, escape is actually considered a “continuing” crime. Under Colorado Revised Statutes § 18-8-201, which is the statute of limitations, the timeframe the government must bring a claim within does not begin to run until the escapee has been returned to custody. As a continuing crime, an inmate is considered an “escapee” until they are returned to police custody. In an extreme example, an inmate who has been an escapee for several years could be charged with countless assaults during escape charges depending on the circumstances.


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Additional Resources

Assault During Escape Laws | Colorado Revised Statutes – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to learn more about the elements and penalties for assault during escape. Access the site to learn more about the charge, read the annotations, and review other criminal offenses similar to assault during escape.

Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition (CCJRC) – Visit the official website for the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, which is a non-profit website and organization whose mission is to eliminate the overuse of the criminal justice system and advance community health and safety. Access the site to learn more about their initiatives, how to get involved, and data about the mass incarceration happening in the United States currently.


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Colorado Springs Assault While Escaping Incarceration Attorneys | El Paso County, CO

If you or someone you know has been arrested or accused of assault during the escape, contact Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC as soon as possible. Our team of seasoned criminal defense attorneys can get to work right away on your case. You can rest assured we will utilize every resource and defense at our disposal to secure you the best possible outcome for your case.

Call today at (719) 328-1616 or submit an online contact form to schedule your first consultation. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout the greater Colorado Springs, Denver, and El Paso County area.


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