So just in case my character goes to jail and I fail sneaking can I use magic without having to get my stuff from the prisoners chest and items?


Yes, you can. Spells are learned and unremovable.

However, your spells may not last long because your enchanted items will be removed. You can only rely on your spells and perks (and your own knowledge and skills to use them, of course).

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    Which makes control spells like paralyse very useful as it can buy you time to rush to your equipment and even get out of the prison. – Ben Ong Jan 11 '18 at 8:08

The best two spells to use are "Muffle" and "Invisibility".

"Muffle" allows you to walk silently for 3 minutes (180 seconds) and "Invisibility" makes you completely unseen for 30 seconds (75 seconds if you dual cast it).

Make sure you stand up before opening your chest as opening the chest will remove the invisibility spell).

Take your items and cast invisibility again. Then immediately crouch. Guards will no longer notice you and you can freely sneak away.

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