The Penalty for Helping Someone Escape

There are a number of laws against helping people escape from the custody of law enforcement officials. These laws fall under the general category of “escape of prisoners.” One of these laws is “aiding escapes from officers.” You are guilty of this crime if you help someone who is attempting to escape from the custody of a sheriff, marshal, constable, or any other law enforcement officer. If you are convicted, you face a jail sentence of one year, a fine of $500, or both.


However, a much more serious offense is “aiding escape of felons generally,” or “rescuing prisoners from custody.” You are guilty of this crime if you assist in the escape of any prisoner who is lawfully detained in a penitentiary, jail, or any “place of confinement.” In order to be convicted of this crime, the prisoner must be detained as the result of a felony charge. You can also face this charge if you “forcibly rescue” a prisoner, regardless of whether the prisoner is a felon. The penalty for this crime is a maximum sentence of 10 years in the penitentiary. 

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