False Imprisonment - Unlawful Confinement

Elements of Constraint

Imagine being detained against your will? Sounds traumatic, doesn’t it? In the majority of unlawful detentions, the victim received threats while detained. Being held against your will can have lasting physical and psychological effects.

Kidnapping and false imprisonment are two elements of constraint that are identical except for their question of intent. Restraint includes any act depriving someone of freedom of movement for any length of time.

False imprisonment is defined as “forc­ibly, by threat, or secretly confining, abduc­ting, imprisoning or restraining another person without lawful authority and against his will.

Kidnapping is defined as forcibly, secretly, or by threat confining, abducting, or imprisoning another with intent to 1. hold for ransom or reward or as a shield or hostage[;] 2. commit or facilitate commission of any felony[;] 3. inflict bodily harm upon or to terror­ize the victim or another person[; or] 4. interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.

False Imprisonment Acts:

  • Locking a person in a room without their consent;
  • Taking hostages;
  • Coercing someone to stay by holding something of value that they own;
  • Restraining someone by medicating or drugging them;
Captivity must include unlawful restraint to be considered false imprisonment. These scenario are NOT false imprisonments:
    • A valid arrest - Is when someone is held under the suspicion of committing a crime, but against their will, are not considered to be falsely imprisoned.
    • Shopkeeper’s Privilege - If a shopkeeper has reasonable suspicion that someone shoplifted, they can detain the suspicious person. In some states, the shopkeeper must legally witness the theft in order to detain them.
    • Consent to be Restrained - If you gave consent to be restrained, it is not considered to be false imprisonment.

False Imprisonment and the Law

False imprisonment is both a felony and a tort. A tort is a wrongful act or an infringement or a right leading to civil legal liability. Physical force is not mandatory for an offense of false imprisonment to be constituted. However, false imprisonment often involved physical force.

These officials and professionals are exempt from civil liability for false imprisonment under certain circumstances:

  • Judicial officers;
  • Government officials entrusted with judicial functions;
  • Attorneys;
  • Physicians.

Penalties for Unlawfully Imprisoning Another Person:

  • Misdemeanor: Up to one year in jail; a maximum fine of $1,000; probation
  • Felony: Up to 20 years in jail; $10,000 or more fine; probation

Ronald Chapman

Ronald Chapman is an experienced defense attorney who believes those who infringe on the personal liberty of others deserve to be accountable to the fullest extent of the law. If you have been accused of unlawfully imprisoning someone, Ronald Chapman can help.

Defense Attorney West Palm Beach

Ronald Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help.

Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website.

Visit us at https://www.justiceflorida.com/ You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ronald Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.


Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis Street, Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401


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400 Clematis St. Suite 206, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Desde 1990, el Sr. Chapman ha representado a personas que han sido acusadas de cometer delitos de varios tipos, tales como DUI, violencia doméstica, posesión de armas, posesión de drogas, eliminación de antecedentes penales, infracciones de tránsito, asesinato, homicidio involuntario, abuso infantil, delitos sexuales, abuso de personas mayores, apelaciones y violaciones de libertad condicional.
Abogado de Defensa Criminal en West Palm Beach, FL

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