Absconding occurs when someone runs away from a legal obligation involving law enforcement. The person who absconds purposefully leaves their local jurisdiction with the idea of attempting to avoid prosecution or the terms of their parole.
People can be accused of absconding in many different types of legal cases. It is important to understand exactly what absconding consists of, so you can avoid taking actions that could lead to this problem.
Absconding While on Parole
One of the most common occurrences of absconding occurs while a felon is working at a job after release from prison or jail. As a condition of their parole, this person often must find and hold gainful employment.
Finding a job for someone who is just released from jail can be a significant challenge. The person on parole may pick a job that is not interesting, or that he or she dislikes, just to fulfill the obligation of employment.
Should this person’s frustration over his or her employment situation lead to eventually walking away from the job, she is considered to have absconded from work.
Understanding the Seriousness of Absconding From a Job
Absconding can be considered a parole violation and can lead to the possibility of arrest or additional penalties.
Depending on the conditions of parole or probation, it may be considered absconding if the person takes a job that requires her to work outside of a particular jurisdiction.
If you are unsure if your parole or probation conditions limit how and where you must be employed, a defense attorney can help you work through any confusing terminology. A lawyer can aid you in figuring out exactly how to find a job while staying within the boundaries of your parole.
Absconding Before or During a Trial
When a criminal defendant leaves the jurisdiction relevant to their legal case before or during a trial, they can be considered to have absconded. In a case like this, prosecutors may ask the court to declare this person a flight risk, which could violate the terms of a bail agreement. Should you abscond during a trial, you could endanger your case.
Absconding by Changing Addresses
It is important to notify the court or your probation officer if you move while in the process of facing criminal charges or of serving a penalty. Even if you move to obtain work or to help with a family matter, the court may not see it as a good reason for moving without notifying the proper authorities.
You also need to have a clear understanding of just how long you must notify the court about a change in your address. Although you may have completed the primary terms of your probation or parole, you still could be required to maintain an address in the relevant jurisdiction.
Check with your defense attorney before you move to understand all the limitations of your probation or parole.
Absconding Can Lead to Long Term Issues
A charge of absconding can present immediate and long-term consequences. If you abscond during a trial, you might have to serve time in jail until the trial concludes. If you are on parole, you could lose the ability for an early release on good behavior. You may end up with additional restrictions that limit your ability to function day to day.
Responding to an Accusation of Absconding
It is possible that you had no intention of absconding. You may have left the relevant jurisdiction suddenly because of a family problem or something else that was beyond your control, or you may not have understood all of the terms of your probation or bail agreement.
If a misunderstanding led to the accusation that you absconded, a criminal attorney can explain the situation on your behalf. By employing the right strategy, it is possible that the court will agree with your presentation of the facts and allow you to resume functioning under your original probation or parole terms.
Protecting Your Rights
If you have been accused of absconding, meeting this charge head-on is often the best strategy, rather than hoping it will just go away on its own. You may want to hire a defense lawyer who will stand by your side throughout the process of negotiating with law enforcement and prosecutors.
When you hire the McKenzie Law Firm, P.C., we can help you understand exactly what you are facing in a case like this. Call us at (610) 680-7842 for a free consultation. Should you choose to hire us, we will be easily accessible to you through phone calls, email, social media, text, and more.