Why It’s Important to Find a False Imprisonment Attorney
Unlawful, unconsented, and intentional restriction of someone’s ability to freely move is called false imprisonment and can cause an individual to face criminal charges. If you or an acquaintance is involved in such a situation, you must be informed about it and seek legal advice from a false imprisonment attorney in California.
What Constitutes False Imprisonment?
As mentioned before, false imprisonment (also called criminal restraint or criminal confinement) happens when an individual limits another’s freedom to move without their consent (this includes children and adults who are legally incapacitated). While most cases imply the limitation of physical movement, threats of violence, coercion, or deception to prevent someone from leaving a place can also be considered false imprisonment.
Not having used threats or violence does not mean that the accused cannot be convicted of false imprisonment. Likewise, restraining someone’s freedom to move for a short period of time is enough, along with other conditions, for false imprisonment to apply. In both cases, the heavier the use of threats and the longer the time of restriction, the more serious charges and penalties can be faced.
How Does False Imprisonment Compare to Kidnapping?
Both of these crimes are closely related, but an extra element (which varies between states) must be present for kidnapping. In some states, changing the person from location is enough, while in others the victim must be intentionally retained for a ransom, held hostage or used as a shield or agent to commit a crime.
What Penalties Can Someone Face?
A case of false imprisonment can have a criminal charge of prison, fines or probation, and can be deemed a misdemeanor or a felony, receiving proportional penalties. This depends on the seriousness of the case, and the State regulations.
Prison sentences can vary from up to a year to twenty years for the most serious cases (usually involving the use of threats and the restriction of a child). Fines can go from around $1,000 and $10,000 and might be added up to prison time. Probation sentences can range from 12 months to 3 years and involve fulfilling requirements like regularly meeting a probation officer and not leaving the state or face possible imprisonment.
On the other hand, an individual who has committed false imprisonment can be sued in a civil lawsuit, which means that the victim of imprisonment sues in court to ask for damages to be awarded.
A False Imprisonment Attorney Can Handle Your Case
Cases for false imprisonment can have serious consequences in your life. Before making any decisions about a false imprisonment accusation, you should get legal advice; in this sense, a false imprisonment attorney has the experience it takes to handle the intricacies of your case.
Haddad & Sherwin LLP has a long, successful track record winning wrongful death and other serious civil rights claims for police and jail officer misconduct, throughout Northern and Central California. Call or email us for a free consultation.