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Escape from Custody or Arrest

PC 836.6 Law & Defense

Information on the crime of escape from custody or arrest is found at California penal code section 836.6. Escape from custody is not the same as escape from jail or prison. For more information on the crime of escape from jail, or prison, please see Escape from Jail.

PC 836.6(a): It is unlawful for any person who is remanded by a magistrate or judge of any court in this state to the custody of a sheriff, marshal, or other police agency, to thereafter escape or attempt to escape from that custody.

PC 836.6(b):It is unlawful for any person who has been lawfully arrested by any peace officer and who knows, or by the exercise of reasonable care should have known, that he or she has been so arrested, to thereafter escape or attempt to escape from that peace officer.

Example: If a store store security guard lawfully detains a suspected shoplifter, but the defendant flees before the police arrive to take custody of the defendant, the the defendant may be charged with escape from custody.

Example 2: If a bar owner makes a citizens' arrest of a patron who committed battery in the bar owners' bar, but the patron is able to escape from the bar owner's custody before the police arrive, the patron may be charged with escape from lawful arrest (A citizens' arrest and a peace officer's arrest are treated the same for purposes of PC 836.6(a) & 836.6(b)).

PC 836.6 Penalties

PC 836.6(a): Escape from custody is charged as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of PC 836.6(a), the defendant may be sentenced up to a year in county jail.

PC 836.6(b): Escape from lawful arrest is charged as a misdemeanor. If found guilty of PC 836.6(b), the defendant may be sentence up to a year in the county jail.

 

PC 836.6(c): If the defendant causes serious bodily injury to a peace officer during an escape, or attempted escape from custody, the defendant may be charged with the crime of escape from custody causing injury (PC 836.6(c). PC 836.6(c) is charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor. If the defendant is found guilty of felony PC 836.6(c), he or she may face up to four year in jail. If the defendant is found guilty of misdemeanor PC 836.6(c), he or she may face up to one year in the county jail.

Probation Sentence: A probation sentence is period of supervision in lieu of jail. Probation sentence are allowed in escape from custody cases, but whether or not a defendant will be granted a probation sentence after a conviction for PC 836.6 depends largely on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history.

Work Release: A work release sentence is a sentence of manual labor, which usually includes collecting refuse around jails or roadways. Work release is an alternative way of serving a jail sentence that is allowed in some PC 836.6 cases.

Three Strikes Law: Escape from custody or lawful arrest is not a strike crime in California, so long as there is not injury proximately caused during the defendant's escape or escape attempt.

Bail: The scheduled bail amount for misdemeanor PC 836.6 charges is $5,000 in San Bernardino County (2020).

In addition to the penalties listed above, if found guilty of the crime of escape from custody or lawful arrest, the defendant could suffer any of the following punishments: fines and court fees, restitution (for injury to persons or property), denial of military service, immigration and professional licensing consequences, loss the right to own or possess firearms (for felony convictions of PC 836.6(c)), and more.

PC 836.6 Defenses

Common defenses against a charge of escape from custody or lawful arrest include: resisting an unlawful arrest (Note: wrongful arrest is not the same as an unlawful arrest; the defendant has no right to resist a wrongful arrest), mistake of fact as to the court's  order for custody, statute of limitations, coerced confessions, and more.

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of escaping from custody or lawful arrest, or PC 836.6, contact out criminal defense lawyers today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers are available seven days a week to answer all of your questions and patiently explain your rights an defense options.

 

909-913-3138

Quick Reference​ Sheet

Crime: Escape from Custody

Code: PC 836.6(a) (CalCrim No. 2760 et seq.)

Wobbler: No. PC 836.6(a) is not a wobbler. PC 836.6(a) is only charged as a misdemeanor; however, if there is injury during the escape from custody the likely charge is a felony filed under PC 836.6(c).

Incarceration:PC 836.6(a) jail sentence up to 1 year.

Probation: Probation may be available in PC 836.6(a) cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​

Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.

Strike: PC 836.6(a) is not a strike crime in California's Three Strikes law.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.

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Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)

Note: More penalties, direct or indirect, may apply. This info is created for that purpose only; accuracy not guaranteed. No attorney/client relationship is formed by use of this info. If arrested or charged with a crime contact a criminal defense lawyer without delay. 

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