Los Angeles False Imprisonment Lawyers
California Penal Code section 236 defines false imprisonment, quite simply as “the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another. ” False imprisonment is a serious crime in Los Angeles. Mistakes are not acceptable when they result in an innocent person having to spend time in jail. If so, you need to speak with an experienced False imprisonment lawyer immediately.
What is False Imprisonment?
In order to better understand what actually amounts to False Imprisonment, we must look to the essential elements of the crime, as described in the California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM). CALCRIM is not a source of law, but a summary of the law written annually by the Judicial Council of California in order to help jurors, who are generally regular people outside the legal profession, understand the law.
CALCRIM 1240 states that False Imprisonment, under Penal Code section 237 a and 237 b, has two essential elements, which the prosecutor must be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict a person of the crime:
- The defendant intentionally restrained, confined, or detained someone or caused that person to be restrained confined, or detained.
- The defendant made the other person stay or go somewhere against the person’s will.
If the prosecutor cannot prove both and proves only one element or neither, the defendant is entitled to an acquittal (not guilty verdict.)
An act is done against a person’s will if that person does not consent to the act. In order to consent, a person must act freely and voluntarily and know the nature of the act. Saying yes at gunpoint is not enough.
Consent is an affirmative defense to the charge of false imprisonment because it negates one of the essential elements for a conviction (movement against the person’s will.)
Contact a Los Angeles false imprisonment attorney at our law firm today to discuss your charges and let us explain how we can help you.
Penalties for Misdemeanor False Imprisonment Charges
A crime of false imprisonment without the use of force or violence, like the crime described above, is a misdemeanor:
- 1-year county jail maximum
- $1,000 fine
If the crime is committed by force of violence, it is prosecutable as a felony. There are many defenses we can use for false imprisonment charges and our false imprisonment lawyers will assert any and all applicable defenses on your behalf.
Violence means using physical force that is greater than the force reasonably necessary to restrain someone. Menace means a verbal or physical threat of harm, including the use of a deadly weapon. The threat of harm may be expressed or implied.
Consider the following examples distinguishing misdemeanor false imprisonment from felony false imprisonment:
- A ride-share driver picks up a fare, drives them to their desired drop-off location, but does not let the fare leave. The driver explains he must go get another fare first and drives away, over the objection of the passenger who is trying to get out of the car. The doors are childproof, so the passenger cannot unlock them to get out of the vehicle. The driver is likely guilty of misdemeanor false imprisonment because he restrained the person’s liberty (could not escape the vehicle) and transported them against their will. Both elements of the crime are present
- A ride-share driver picks up a fare and drives the fare not to the desired drop-off location but to an alley. The car has child locks, so the person cannot escape. The uber driver then threatens to kill the passenger if they move and then forces zip ties around the passenger’s hand. The driver then drives the passenger to a different location and throws them out on the street. The driver is likely guilty of felony false imprisonment because the person was restrained both by the locks but also by the driver’s threat that he will kill the passenger if the passenger resists (violence or menace). Both elements of the crime are present
You can increase the chances of a successful outcome by hiring an experienced false imprisonment attorney to handle your defense. At Manshoory Law Group, we will thoroughly investigate your alleged crime.
Penalties for Felony False Imprisonment Charges
As a felony, the crime may of false imprisonment be punished by:
- Incarceration in state prison for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years.
Our false imprisonment attorneys have the necessary knowledge and experience to get favorable results. We do everything we can to get our clients the best possible results:
Contact Our Wrongful Arrest Lawyers Today
You should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney, like those at Manshoory Law Group, APC to assist you in analyzing the specific facts of your case, preparing and presenting defenses before and during the trial, and making sure you understand your rights and helping you enforce them.
The risks of a False Imprisonment conviction are too great to go-it-alone. You can use our Contact Form or Call now for a free consultation (877) 977-7750.