Escape and Being at Large without Excuse

The offence of escape and being at large without excuse is outlined in section 145(1) of the Criminal Code.

An individual is guilty of the offence of escape and being at large without excuse when they escape lawful custody before the expiration of their term of imprisonment and are at large inside or outside of Canada without lawful excuse.


Person A is convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to four years in prison. After serving only one year, person A escapes from prison and flees Canada for Mexico.

Person B is sentenced to life in prison for murder. Ten years into his sentence, person B is mistakenly released by the prison because of an administrative error. Person B understands he has been sentenced to life in prison and that a mistake must have been made by the prison staff. Person B says nothing and leaves the prison, going on the run.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Lawful Excuse

Where the offender has a lawful excuse for being outside of police custody, the person may not have committed the offence of escape or being at large without excuse. A lawful excuse includes a medical emergency or a threat to life.

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