False Imprisonment is unlawful restraint that substantially interferes
with the personal liberty (i.e. freedom of movement) of another (California
Penal Code Section 236). False Imprisonment is a crime and a tort (civil
wrong). In California, False Imprisonment is generally charged as a misdemeanor.
A felony will be charged if the False Imprisonment is accomplished by
violence, menace, fraud, or deceit.
False Imprisonment as a misdemeanor carries a fine and up to one year in
county jail. Felony False Imprisonment provides for a potential state
prison sentence. False Imprisonment is sometimes referred to as unlawful
detention, unlawful restraint, unlawful imprisonment, false arrest, or
criminal restraint. See also and compare to False Arrest.