Accused of False Imprisonment?

False imprisonment involves restraining someone’s freedom and preventing that person from moving. It is holding a person against his or her will, sometimes using violence or the threat of violence. False Imprisonment is similar to kidnapping because both crimes require illegal restraint of another person, except that kidnapping requires movement of the restrained person. While false imprisonment is not on the same level as kidnapping, it is still a serious offense punishable by county jail or state prison, probation, and court fines.

What is False Imprisonment?

California Penal Code Sections 237(a) and 236 specify what actions constitute false imprisonment. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, false imprisonment may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on whether the charge is for a first or subsequent offense.

California Penal Code §237(a) defines misdemeanor false imprisonment based on the following elements:

  • The defendant intentionally and illegally detained, confined, or restrained another person, and
  • The defendant committed the act against the victim’s will.

According to Penal Code §236, a false imprisonment charge can be escalated to a felony if the following elements are in place:

  • The defendant intentionally and illegally detained, confined, or restrained another person by violent means or through the threat of violence, and
  • The defendant forced their victim to stay or go somewhere against the victim’s will.

False Imprisonment Penalties

If convicted, an individual could face the following penalties for false imprisonment:

  • Jail time (up to one year in jail for a misdemeanor conviction, three years for a felony conviction, and eight years for a felony conviction involving a hostage)
  • Fines ranging between $1,000 and $10,000 or more
  • Probation sentences of at least 12 months or more.

In addition to these penalties, a criminal conviction could limit your future prospects. Criminal convictions make it difficult to find employment, obtain loans, apply for school, obtain a professional license, or find a place to live. Don’t let this happen to you – take the first steps toward fighting your charges by retaining a lawyer from Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners as soon as possible.


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Legal Defenses

Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are several defenses that may be used against false imprisonment charges. For instance, if a defendant had the consent of the plaintiff to go somewhere, there can be no charge of false imprisonment. Parents have the authority to “detain” children under the age of 17 as an act of discipline or for their protection. Also, a merchant has the right to temporarily detain someone suspected of shoplifting. These are just some of the ways that a California criminal defense lawyer at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners can help you fight your charges and protect your rights. Call us today to learn more about your legal options.

Contact Our Firm for a Free Initial Case Evaluation

Being accused of a crime can be a stressful ordeal. If you are facing criminal charges in Los Angeles, it is in your best interests to speak with an attorney from our firm about your case as soon as possible. We have over 70 years combined experience protecting the rights and futures of the accused and a track record of successful results, so you can be confident placing your case in our care. We are committed to handling each case with the professionalism, respect, and dedication it deserves.

For a confidential consultation with our reliable and experienced attorneys, call us at (213) 267-9790.