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Illinois Criminal Code of 1961

Article 31: Illinois Escape Crimes

Escaping from custody or concealing fugitives are other ways in which individuals can obstruct the workings of our justice system. In this portion of Article 31 of the Illinois Criminal Code, lawmakers describe several crimes related to this type of interference with public officers.

The first crime listed under this section is concealing or aiding a fugitive, which occurs when a person tries to prevent the apprehension of a fugitive by concealing the offender. However, this law does not apply if the defendant is the spouse, parent, child, or sibling of the escapee. Otherwise, a violation of this clause is a Class 4 felony.

The next crime is often the focus of many dramatic American films, such as Shawshank Redemption. Although escaping from prison is a highly uncommon feat, Illinois legislators still discuss this crime and its punishment in Article 31. Anyone who intentionally escapes from any penal institution could be found guilty of a Class 2 felony. However, this classification applies only to those in prison or other type of custody who have committed a felony. Any person who has committed only a misdemeanor would be found guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor if convicted.

On the same note, it is also illegal to aid any prisoner in their escape. Depending on the nature of the operation, a defendant found guilty would find himself facing anywhere from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class 3 felony. Lastly, this section of Illinois criminal law prohibits anyone from refusing to aid a peace officer when asked. A violation is a petty offense.

Need an Illinois criminal defense attorney? If you've been charged with an escape crime in Illinois, call our Chicago criminal defense attorneys today at (312) 466-9466 to discuss your case.

The text below comes from Article 31 of the Illinois Criminal Code of 1961. This law may have changed -- please read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Illinois Criminal Code of 1961 - Article 31

Sec. 31-5. Concealing or aiding a fugitive.
    (720 ILCS 5/31-5)

Every person not standing in the relation of husband, wife, parent, child, brother or sister to the offender, who, with intent to prevent the apprehension of the offender, conceals his knowledge that an offense has been committed or harbors, aids or conceals the offender, commits a Class 4 felony. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)

Sec. 31-6. Escape; failure to report to a penal institution or to report for periodic imprisonment.
    (720 ILCS 5/31-6)

(a) A person convicted of a felony or charged with the commission of a felony, or charged with or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, who intentionally escapes from any penal institution or from the custody of an employee of that institution commits a Class 2 felony; however, a person convicted of a felony, or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, who knowingly fails to report to a penal institution or to report for periodic imprisonment at any time or knowingly fails to return from furlough or from work and day release or who knowingly fails to abide by the terms of home confinement is guilty of a Class 3 felony.

(b) A person convicted of a misdemeanor or charged with the commission of a misdemeanor, or charged with or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a misdemeanor, who intentionally escapes from any penal institution or from the custody of an employee of that institution commits a Class A misdemeanor; however, a person convicted of a misdemeanor, or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a misdemeanor, who knowingly fails to report to a penal institution or to report for periodic imprisonment at any time or knowingly fails to return from furlough or from work and day release or who knowingly fails to abide by the terms of home confinement is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

(b-1) A person committed to the Department of Human Services under the provisions of the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act or in detention with the Department of Human Services awaiting such a commitment who intentionally escapes from any secure residential facility or from the custody of an employee of that facility commits a Class 2 felony.

(c) A person in the lawful custody of a peace officer for the alleged commission of a felony offense or an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, and who intentionally escapes from custody commits a Class 2 felony; however, a person in the lawful custody of a peace officer for the alleged commission of a misdemeanor offense or an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a misdemeanor, who intentionally escapes from custody commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(c-5) A person in the lawful custody of a peace officer for an alleged violation of a term or condition of probation, conditional discharge, parole, or mandatory supervised release for a felony or an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, who intentionally escapes from custody is guilty of a Class 2 felony.

(c-6) A person in the lawful custody of a peace officer for an alleged violation of a term or condition of supervision, probation, or conditional discharge for a misdemeanor or an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a misdemeanor, who intentionally escapes from custody is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(d) A person who violates this Section while armed with a dangerous weapon commits a Class 1 felony. (Source: P.A. 95-839, eff. 8-15-08; 95-921, eff. 1-1-09; 96-328, eff. 8-11-09.)

Sec. 31-7. Aiding escape.
    (720 ILCS 5/31-7)

(a) Whoever, with intent to aid any prisoner in escaping from any penal institution, conveys into the institution or transfers to the prisoner anything for use in escaping commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(b) Whoever knowingly aids a person convicted of a felony or charged with the commission of a felony, or charged with or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, in escaping from any penal institution or from the custody of any employee of that institution commits a Class 2 felony; however, whoever knowingly aids a person convicted of a felony or charged with the commission of a felony, or charged with or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, in failing to return from furlough or from work and day release is guilty of a Class 3 felony.

(c) Whoever knowingly aids a person convicted of a misdemeanor or charged with the commission of a misdemeanor, or charged with or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a misdemeanor, in escaping from any penal institution or from the custody of an employee of that institution commits a Class A misdemeanor; however, whoever knowingly aids a person convicted of a misdemeanor or charged with the commission of a misdemeanor, or charged with or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a misdemeanor, in failing to return from furlough or from work and day release is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

(d) Whoever knowingly aids a person in escaping from any public institution, other than a penal institution, in which he is lawfully detained, or from the custody of an employee of that institution, commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(e) Whoever knowingly aids a person in the lawful custody of a peace officer for the alleged commission of a felony offense or an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, in escaping from custody commits a Class 2 felony; however, whoever knowingly aids a person in the lawful custody of a peace officer for the alleged commission of a misdemeanor offense or an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a misdemeanor, in escaping from custody commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(f) An officer or employee of any penal institution who recklessly permits any prisoner in his custody to escape commits a Class A misdemeanor.

(f-5) With respect to a person in the lawful custody of a peace officer for an alleged violation of a term or condition of probation, conditional discharge, parole, or mandatory supervised release for a felony, whoever intentionally aids that person to escape from that custody is guilty of a Class 2 felony.

(f-6) With respect to a person who is in the lawful custody of a peace officer for an alleged violation of a term or condition of supervision, probation, or conditional discharge for a misdemeanor, whoever intentionally aids that person to escape from that custody is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.

(g) A person who violates this Section while armed with a dangerous weapon commits a Class 2 felony. (Source: P.A. 95-839, eff. 8-15-08; 95-921, eff. 1-1-09; 96-328, eff. 8-11-09.)

Sec. 31-8. Refusing to aid an officer.
    (720 ILCS 5/31-8)

Whoever upon command refuses or knowingly fails reasonably to aid a person known by him to be a peace officer in:

(a) Apprehending a person whom the officer is authorized to apprehend; or

(b) Preventing the commission by another of any offense, commits a petty offense. (Source: P. A. 77-2638.)

Sec. 31-9. Obstructing an emergency management worker.
    (720 ILCS 5/31-9)

A person who knowingly obstructs the performance by one known to the person to be an emergency management worker of any authorized act within his or her official capacity commits a Class A misdemeanor. (Source: P.A. 94-243, eff. 1-1-06.)

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DISCLAIMER: These excerpts from the law are provided for reference purposes only. Visitors to our Chicago criminal defense lawyer website should be aware that Illinois criminal laws have been amended many times and that Illinois crime laws posted on this site may not be current. In addition, Illinois criminal case law defines precedents for legal determinations that are not defined in the original laws.

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