Unlawfully at Large Defence Lawyer in Winnipeg
What is being unlawfully at large?
Unlawfully at large (also often referred to as escaping lawful custody) arises when someone who is in lawful custody escapes or attempts to escape, or when individuals don’t comply with the conditions of their parole. Escaping lawful custody commonly arises in the following circumstances:
- running away or trying to run away from the police after they have placed you under arrest;
- escaping or trying to escape from sheriff officers when they are transporting between a correctional facility and the court;
- when someone escapes or tries to escape from a correctional facility (prison break);
- breaching the conditions of parole;
- not following the terms of a conditional sentence order; and,
- failing to report into a jail when serving an intermittent sentence.
Obtaining Bail when Charged with Being Unlawfully at Large
It can be a difficult challenge to obtain bail when charged with escaping lawful custody. The very charge highlights the fact that you are a flight risk and may not return to court when required to do so. In order to obtain bail, a plan would need to be developed to address the judge’s concerns. This might include GPS monitoring, and/or strict curfew conditions.
Sentencing for Escaping Lawful Custody
Escaping lawful custody is an offence taken seriously by the courts. When an accused or convicted individual escapes from custody, it affects the administration of justice. Typically, the person is viewed as trying to avoid punishment for their crime.
Depending on the specific circumstance of the offence, the sentence can vary widely. The maximum sentence is 2 years jail. If the offence arise when you are on parole, a conditional sentence order, or while serving an intermittent sentence, it’s likely the your release will be revoked and you will return to jail to serve the rest of your sentence. A sentence for escaping prison will always attract a substantial period of imprisonment. Factors the judge will take into consideration when sentencing an offender include:
- the nature and circumstance under which the offender was in custody;
- the conduct of the offender when in custody;
- the method used to escape, particularity violence;
- whether their was extensive planning or outside help; and,
- whether and how soon after the escape the offender surrendered into lawful custody.
Defending Unlawfully at Large Charges
I will carefully examine and assess all the disclosure to determine weaknesses in the Crown’s case. We will discuss the charges together and available defences. Questions I will consider while reviewing your case include:
- Were you in lawful custody?
- Did you try to escape custody?
- Did you have a lawful reason for leaving? Necessity? Duress?
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