Charged With Escape?

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Although very few people view prison as an enjoyable experience, prison breaks have almost been glamorized in our society. While TV shows like Prison Break show the act of escaping custody to be exciting, things get much less glamorous once you are caught. However, penalties for escape can be extremely severe.


An individual commits the statutory offense of Escaping when they intentionally escape or get away from government custody or confinement. This can be either after convicted, or while in custody from arrest awaiting trial or adjudication.

Furthermore, ecause an ankle monitor used for house arrest is considered “confinement”, removing an ankle monitor is considered a violation of the Escape statute. In situations where an individual is allowed temporary release with an instructed time to return to custody (such as work release), failure to return by the specified time counts as a violation of the Escape statute. In these instances, however, there is an 8-hour grace period if the individual can prove they did not intentionally fail to return.

In full, O.C.G.A. § 16-10-52 (a)(1-5): Escape reads: “A person commits the offense of escape when he or she: (1) Having been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor or of the violation of a municipal ordinance, intentionally escapes from lawful custody or from any place of lawful confinement; (2) Being in lawful custody or lawful confinement prior to conviction, intentionally escapes from such custody or confinement; (3) Having been adjudicated of a delinquent or unruly act or a juvenile traffic offense, intentionally escapes from lawful custody or from any place of lawful confinement; (4) Being in lawful custody or lawful confinement prior to adjudication, intentionally escapes from such custody or confinement; or (5) Intentionally fails to return as instructed to lawful custody or lawful confinement or to any residential facility operated by the Georgia Department of Corrections after having been released on the condition that he or she will so return; provided, however, such person shall be allowed a grace period of eight hours from the exact time specified for return if such person can prove he or she did not intentionally fail to return.


Escaping is generally a misdemeanor, with the three below exceptions:

Felony Escape Scenarios
CriteriaPrison Sentence
Offender is convicted Felon1-10 years
Offender is awaiting trial for a Felony1-5 years
Offender possesses deadly weapon1-20 years

If multiple individuals escape at the same time and even one of them is wielding a deadly weapon, all individuals will receive a punishment that is elevated to a Felony offense. Also, if this offense generates a violation of probation, it is possible to receive a separate and additional conviction for O.C.G.A. §16-10-52 beyond the probation violation charge.

Case Law

On December 6, 2010, Yohanne Brown was placed on electronic house arrest as a condition of bond while awaiting trial on criminal charges. Brown was ordered to serve 240 days home confinement with electronic monitoring under the “Electronic House Arrest Program (‘EHAP’),” was on “Total Lock-down,” and was allowed to leave his home only to attend church. Brown was required to wear an electronic leg monitor equipped with a GPS to monitor his compliance with the home confinement provisions. Roughly two months after the monitor was placed on Brown’s leg, he cut off the monitor and fled. He was apprehended in another city at a bus station; a bus ticket on which his name appeared indicated a final destination outside of Georgia. At trial, Brown admitted that he had removed the electronic monitor.

The court ruled: “Applying the plain meaning to the terms “custody” and “confinement,” and looking diligently for the intention of the General Assembly, we find that a defendant participating in an electronically-monitored house arrest program is in lawful custody or lawful confinement, as provided in OCGA § 16–10–52. Thus, the evidence was sufficient to authorize a rational trier of fact to find Brown guilty of escape beyond a reasonable doubt.”


If you have been charged with Escape or a similar crime, give @bixonlaw a call today to speak to one of our experienced Georgia criminal defense lawyers. As a firm exclusively committed to expertise in Criminal Law, we will vigorously defend your legal rights and advocate on your behalf to have your case dismissed or the charges against you reduced. As experienced trial attorneys, we are also not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. We represent clients in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. We are lawyers who are committed to helping people in difficult situations and we invite you to call us at (404) 551-5684 for a free consultation today.