What is the meaning of “committed” in § 40A-22-8, N.M.S.A.1953 ? The statute reads:
“Escape from jail consists of any person who shall have been lawfully committed to any jail, escaping or attempting to escape from such jail.”
The criminal complaint charged defendant with a petty misdemeanor. An arrest warrant was issued. Defendant was arrested and jailed. The jury determined that he got out of jail through the roof and convicted him of violating the above statute. Defendant appeals. ,(
Defendant’s position is that one cannot commit the statutory offense of “escape from jail” unless one had been “committed” to jail. By “committed” defendant means an order of a court or magistrate which directs a confinement. He asserts that such an order is lacking in his case.
The legislature has not defined “committed” as used in § 40A-22-8. We must de*778termine the legislative intent as expressed in the words of the statute. Ex parte DeVore, 18 N.M. 246, 136 P. 47 (1913). Valley Country Club, Inc. v. Mender, 64 N.M. 59, 323 P.2d 1099 (1958), states:
“Unless'the contrary appears, statutory words are presumed to be used in their ordinary and usual sense and with the meaning commonly attributable to them.”
Nothing to the contrary appearing, the legislature is presumed to have used the common meaning of “committed.”
What is that common meaning? Web.ster’s Third New International Dictionary Unabridged (1966) indicates that “commit” is a very wide term; that it may have either of two common meanings. See State ex rel. Hake v. Burke, 21 Wis.2d 405, 124 N.W.2d 457 (1963).
These two common meanings are:
(1) Delivery into another’s charge; to place in confinement. In this sense “committed” means no more than lawful confinement in jail. People v. Emblen, 362 Ill. 142, 199 N.E. 281 (1935); In re Klein, 197 Cal. App.2d 58, 17 Cal.Rptr. 71 (1961).
(2) An order of a court or magistrate directing a confinement. Schildhaus v. City of New York, 7 Misc.2d 859, 163 N.Y.S.2d 201 (1957); People ex rel. Wojek v. Henderson, 134 Misc. 228, 235 N.Y.S. 173 (1929); In re Edson, 85 Vt. 366, 82 A. 664 (1912). This is the meaning that defendant would apply.
We do not choose between these meanings. Under either meaning defendant was committed to jail.
“Committed” as placing in confinement. Under this meaning defendant was committed if lawfully confined in jail. The arrest warrant directed the arresting officer to bring defendant before the magistrate “forthwith.” Section 41-1-1, N.M.S.A. 1953. This means with reasonable promptness and dispatch; it does not mean that defendant must be taken before the magistrate “regardless of the time of day or night.” State v. Montgomery, 28 N.M. 344, 212 P. 341 (1923). Until taken before the magistrate he is lawfully confined. State v. Montgomery, supra. Being lawfully confined, defendant was committed tp jail.
We are not required to reject this meaning because of the rule that penal statutes are to be strictly construed. Although there is to be strict construction of the penal statutes, “they are not to be subjected to any strained or unnatural construction in order to work exemptions from their penalties.” Ex parte DeVore, supra. If the meaning is doubtful, the spirit or reason of the law prevails over the literal meaning to prevent injustice. Accordingly, we may apply common sense in order to avoid an absurd result. Ex Parte DeVore, supra.
To hold that “committed” does not mean a lawful confinement would be a strict construction. Under this meaning, unless there were an order of confinement, one does not violate the statute by breaking out of jail. Such would be a strained construction. The reason and common sense of the.statute is that a person who is lawfully confined in jail is to be punished if he breaks jail. The rule of strict construction does not require us to hold otherwise.
“Committed” as an order of confinement. Under this meaning, defendant was committed if there was an order of the magistrate directing that he be confined. The arrest warrant directed that defendant be brought before the magistrate; it did not specifically order confinement in jail. However, under our statutes, such an order is implied.
Upon issuance of an arrest warrant, § 41-4-1, N.M.S.A.1953, provides that the issuing official “must make an order to admit tiie * * * person for whom such warrant shall be issued, to bail.” Section 41-4 — 1 further requires that the issuing official “shall * * * cause to be endorsed upon such warrant, authority to the officer making the arrest, to take bail for the appearance of the defendant.” The justice of the peace complied with these requirements by fixing and endorsing on the warrant the amount of the bond.
One of the objects of bail is to relieve the accused of imprisonment before *779trial. United States ex rel. Heikkinen v. Gordon, 190 F.2d 16 (8th Cir.1951); State ex rel. Smith v. Western Surety Co., 154 Neb. 895, 50 N.W.2d 100 (1951). Section 41— 4—1 affirmatively provides for release by giving bail. Though “phrased in the affirmative, it implies a negative.” Tijerina v. Baker, 78 N.M. 770, 438 P.2d 514, opinion issued January 22, 1968, and not yet reported . The implied negative is that the accused is jailed if bond is not given. The power to require bail connotes the power to imprison in the absence of such bail. Shrode v. Rowoldt, 213 F.2d 810 (8th Cir. 1954).
The order of the justice of the peace fixing the bond and authorizing the arresting officer to take the bail so fixed, impliedly ordered the officer to confine defendant in jail if bail was not given.
Section 41^4 — 2, N.M.S.A.1953, provides that if bail is not given the arresting officer is to immediately take the defendant before the officer issuing the arrest warrant. This means with reasonable promptness and dispatch. State v. Montgomery, supra. We are concerned here with the interval between the arrest and the appearance before the magistrate. During that time, the order fixing and authorizing the taking of bail is impliedly an order for the confinement of the accused, a commitment. Compare § 42-2-11, N.M.S.A.1953.
Whether “committed” in § 40A-22-8, N. M.S.A.1953, means “placing in confinement” or “an order of confinement,” defendant was “committed” to jail when he left the jail through the roof.
The judgment and sentence are affirmed.
It is so ordered.
OMAN, J., concurs.
ARMIJO, J., dissents.