DUI Suspect's Excuse for Police Chase: Choice of County Jail

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. on July 03, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

People typically run from police in an attempt to stay out of jail for as long as they can. But an Oklahoma woman who led police on a high-speed chase Tuesday had a somewhat different goal in mind.

Police say 34-year-old Luz Avilla refused to pull over, reaching speeds of up to 100 mph, supposedly because she was hoping to make it to the next county over. "Apparently she did not want to go to jail in Grady County," a police officer told Oklahoma City's KWTV. "She wanted to go to jail in Caddo County was her explanation as to why she did not pull over."

Unfortunately for Avilla, she came up a few miles short and was booked (in Grady County) on charges including driving under the influence and eluding police.

Avilla's quest for the county line does bring up an interesting question, though: Can an inmate in one jail request a transfer to another?

Transferring Facilities in Okla.

The rules for transferring from one facility vary widely from state to state, and even from county to county.

According to the Guide for Families and Friends of Offenders published by the Oklahoma Corrections Department, jail transfers typically are only granted to "meet the safety and security needs of the facility or offender" or "when an offender incurs a security level modification."

The guide is unequivocal about transfers relating to an inmate's preference, saying "it is simply not feasible to transfer an offender to the facility of choice. Normally, transfers occur only to meet assessed program needs or when an offender incurs a security level modification."

Transfer Rules in Other States

Other states are somewhat more accommodating. Washington state, for example, allows inmates to ask to be moved to facilities closer to their families, although the Department of Corrections warns that is isn't always possible and encourages families to "maintain contact through letters."

If you are being held in a county jail or are convicted of a crime and sentenced to jail or prison, an experienced criminal lawyer may be able to help you transfer facilities if the law in your state or county allows for it.

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