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    False Imprisonment

    What happens if you restrain someone from going out against his or her will? Or what happens if you lock your spouse in a room when he or she wants to go out? You may be charged with a criminal offense under PC 236 and PC 237. Whether you keep hold them for few minutes to some hours, you can be held accountable for false imprisonment of the victim. The act of restraining or holding the person when it does not reach the level of kidnapping is charged with the lesser crime of false imprisonment.

    If you are charged with violation of PC 236, you can be convicted of either a misdemeanor or a felony with a permanent criminal record which means the long lasting impact on your employment opportunities. Do not despair. Call the law office of David S. Chesley at (800) 755-5174 for a free consultation.

    Definition of False Imprisonment

    As defined in the PC 236, false imprisonment is an unlawful infringement of freedom of another person. In simplest terms, any confinement, restraining, or restricting someone at one place or to force him or her to go to the other place is false imprisonment in the eyes of the Californian criminal system.

    Elements of Crime

    To establish the charges of false imprisonment against a person, the prosecutor must prove the following things in front of the law.

    To Prove a Misdemeanor

    • The defendant ‘willfully’ and ‘unlawfully’ held, restrained or confined the victim.
    • The defendant held, restrained or confined the person against his or her will.

    To Prove a Felony

    • The defendant ‘willfully’ and ‘unlawfully’ held, restrained or confined the victim by using force or violence.
    • The defendant held, restrained or confined the person against his or her will by using force or violence.

    Examples of False Imprisonment

    The common examples of false imprisonment appear to be something like this,

    • Holding your spouse or cohabitant fro, walking out of the heated argument.
    • Restraining your spouse from leaving home after a fight.
    • Unlawfully forcing a customer to stay at the shop without any reasonable suspicion.
    • Forcing customer to go to the backside of the shop without reasonable suspicion.
    • Holding your boss/ co-worker in an office room at gunpoint.
    • Threatening to harm or injure another person if the other person leaves the room.
    • Restricting employees to one room for theft interview not allowing them to use the bathroom or make a phone call.

    In the events when violence is used such as the use of a firearm or a knife to restrain the victim, it is charged as a felony. When the defendant involves minimal force such as holding a hand or blocking the door, it is often charged as a misdemeanor.

    Penalties of False Imprisonment

    You should not consider the charges of false imprisonment trivial. If convicted you can face thousands of dollars in fine, jail time in county jail and if you are convicted of a felony, you can face imprisonment in state prison. It depends on the seriousness of the crime, duration of restraining, and previous criminal record whether the charges are filed as felony or misdemeanor.

    Importance of Consent

    Consent is one of the most important factors in false imprisonment. If the customer or employee or the person gives the consent to be held or stopped, it cannot be charged as false imprisonment. For example, you asked the employee for written or verbal consent before holding them for theft interview; you cannot be charged under PC 236. If you took the permission of the customer before holding them for bag check, it is also not a violation of personal liberties.

    Available Defenses in False Imprisonment

    David S. Chesley’s law office has a team of defense attorneys that are known for their knowledge and experience in courthouses across California. With detailed analysis of the crime scene and the circumstances, we pick out available defenses and manipulate them in strong arguments. Some of the commonly available defenses in the cases of false imprisonment are,

    Voluntary Presence: The person consented to the restraint or was not held against his or her will.

    Lawful Detention: The defendant had reasonable suspicion against the victim to have committed a crime or to endanger himself. For example, you witness someone stealing from the shop; you confined that person to the shop until law enforcement officers came to the scene, it is lawful detention.

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    Domestic Violence

    Domestic violence is one of the most commonly reported in California and every year hundreds and thousands of domestic crime cases are registered.

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    Assault and battery are often charged together, but these are not interchangeable criminal offenses.

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    Assault with a Deadly Weapon

    Being charged with aggravated assault (also known as assault with a deadly weapon), is a serious criminal charge.

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    When a suspect is uncooperative, dismissive or verbally indignant, some officers take it personally. People who have committed no crime suddenly find themselves facing bogus criminal charges.

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    A criminal threat is often referred as ‘terrorist threat’ in California even though the statute no longer uses this term to define the offense.

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    Unlawful Possession of a Firearm is strictly illegal.

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    Recent Results

    • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

    • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

    • Client’s estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

    • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client’s glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

    • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

    • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

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