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Crimes for Escape in Florida

A person confined in any prison, jail, private correctional facility, camp, or other penal institution, working on public roads, or being transported from a place of confinement, who escapes or attempts to escape confinement can be charged with a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine as provided in Section 775.082 and 775.083, F.S.

Under Florida, it doesn’t matter whether the facility is operated by the state, a county, or a municipality, or operated under a contract with the state, a county, or a municipality as explained in Section 944.40. Keep in mind that Florida law requires a sentence imposed for an escape conviction to run consecutively to any sentence previously imposed.

The Fifth District Court of Appeal addressed a situation in which a confined person, granted temporary release from custody, could not be prosecuted for escape for failing to return to jail. In Rodriguez v. State, 224 So. 3d 811 (Fla. 5th DCA 2017), the court granted the defendant, who was in jail awaiting trial, a one-day furlough to attend his daughter’s funeral. The court ordered the defendant to return to jail within 24 hours after his release.

The defendant failed to return and was subsequently arrested and charged with escape. The Fifth District interpreted s. 944.40, F.S., to apply only to prisoners already sentenced, and not to those persons on a form of pretrial release, for example, a person temporarily released from confinement on a furlough.

Attorneys for Crimes of Escape in Tampa, FL

If you were charged with escape under Section 944.40, Florida Statute, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sammis Law Firm. Call 813-250-0500.

Effective on October 1, 2019, Section 944.40, F.S., now includes escape or an attempt to escape by an offender released on furlough as a second-degree felony.

For this reason, an offender who benefits from a temporary release from custody through furlough may be prosecuted for escaping or attempting to escape from custody by failing to return to jail in the same manner as an offender who escapes or attempts to escape from the physical custody of a prison or jail.

Call 813-250-0500.

This article was last updated on Friday, June 28, 2019.

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