It’s a common TV trope seen in shows like Luke Cage, Sense 8 and Prison Break; the main character is locked in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and he must break out of prison to prove his innocence. But in real life, simply proving your innocence doesn’t mean you can just walk away after escaping prison. In fact, you would likely need a top defense lawyer in Oceanside to help you fight new charges related to your escape.
I’m Innocent I Tell You!
First of all, even if you escaped and uncovered all the evidence you need to prove you innocence you can’t just walk into a police station or District Attorney’s office and give them the evidence and expect them to say, “ok, you’re free to go.” The evidence has to be analyzed, evaluated and brought before a judge who will then decide if there’s enough proof to warrant releasing you, resentencing you or ordering you a new trial. During this period, you’ll be put back in custody and it could take months before the judge makes a decision. If she orders a new trial, you’ll even have to wait in jail or prison until it is completed.
Just like when facing charges the first time, it can help to have a top Oceanside criminal lawyer fighting on your behalf during this process. He can make arguments to the DA and judge on your behalf, ensure your rights are protected and if your rights were violated the first time you were convicted, he can use this to prove that you deserve to be free.
Escaping Custody Charges
Unfortunately, even if you successfully prove your innocence and are completely exonerated, you could still face new charges related to your escape itself. That’s because escaping prison or jail is a crime in itself and is not directly tied into whether or not you were guilty of the original crime. In many cases, the prosecutor would choose not to file charges related to your escape, but if she does, you would need your Oceanside defense lawyer to help you fight the charges.
The law requires a prisoner who escapes from state prison to be consecutively sentenced back to state prison for up to three years and six if by force or violence. This means the time starts after a prisoner completes their original sentence, even if they were innocent of the original crime. The DA would have to agree not prosecute the innocent person escaping from state prison for them to avoid a consecutive sentence if convicted.
Obviously prison and jail escapes are relatively rare in real life and in most cases, those escapees don’t go on to prove their innocence. Even so, it’s an interesting legal concept, which is why it is so frequently used in movies and TV shows. As you can tell though, it’s not the best idea, which is why you should always do whatever you can to prove you innocence during the initial trial -including working with an experienced Oceanside criminal attorney with a good track record handling cases like yours. If you have been accused of any criminal charge, please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation with Peter M. Liss.
Image by Ye Jinghan