It’s common knowledge that kidnapping is an illegal offense that leads to serious penalties. What you might not know is if you confine or restrain someone against their will it’s also a crime known as false imprisonment. It differs from kidnapping since the victim isn’t transported during the crime. Instead they are held in one place without their consent for a period.
If you or someone you know has been charged with false imprisonment, it’s important you have legal representation as soon as possible. The penalties associated with false imprisonment may not be as severe as kidnapping, but they can drastically change your life. You may be required to pay expensive fines and even be sentenced to years behind bars.
False Imprisonment Attorney in Palm Beach County, FL
It’s illegal to restrain another person against their will. Doing so will lead to a charge of false imprisonment, which means serious penalties. You could be sentenced to pay steep fines and even spend years in jail or prison depending on the circumstances. That is why it’s within your best interest to gain legal representation from Meltzer & Bell, P.A..
Meltzer & Bell, P.A. is a group of reputable attorneys who collectively have over 20 years of experience in Florida’s court rooms. We are skilled at creating strong criminal defenses for our clients that we can use to get you the best possible result for your case. Call now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free of charge. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. accepts clients throughout the greater West Palm Beach area such as Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Palm Beach Springs, and Wellington.
Overview of False Imprisonment Charges in FL
- What Are the Penalties for False Imprisonment in FL?
- What Are the Penalties for Aggravated False Imprisonment?
- Civil Claim for False Imprisonment
- Additional Resources
What Are the Penalties for False Imprisonment in Florida?
If you imprison another person by using force or threats, you will be charged with false imprisonment. The Florida Statutes Section 787.02 states that it’s unlawful to confine, imprison or restrain another person against their will without any lawful authority. Essentially, unless you’re a cop you cannot legally restrain another person.
False imprisonment is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by:
- Up to five years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $5,000.
What Are the Penalties for Aggravated False Imprisonment in Florida?
The crime can be enhanced to aggravated false imprisonment if certain circumstances are present during the commission of the crime. If you committed any of the following crimes were committed in conjunction with false imprisonment, then the offense would be reclassified to aggravated false imprisonment.
- Lewd or lascivious conduct;
- Lewd or lascivious exhibition;
- Lewd or lascivious molestation;
- Lewd or lascivious battery;
- Aggravated child abuse;
- Sexual battery against a child;
- Prostitution of a child;
- Exploitation of a child; or
- Human trafficking.
An aggravated false imprisonment offense is a first-degree felony punishable by:
- Up to 30 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000.
Civil Claims for False Imprisonment
Criminal penalties aren’t the only thing that could happen from imprisoning another person. Often victims of false imprisonment will also file a claim to recover damages. The damages are any losses the victim allegedly suffered because of their injury. It’s common for the victim to use information from the criminal case as evidence in their civil claim. If the victim is successful, you will be required to pay a monetary settlement.
A conviction for false imprisonment would be damning evidence in a civil court if you’re attempting to persuade a jury you aren’t guilty of it. That is why it’s incredibly important you secure effective legal representation to fight your charges quickly. If you are deemed not guilty or have reduced charges, it will be much harder for the victim to make a case in civil court.
If the court grants the victim a settlement, you may be required to pay their:
- Medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of earning capacity;
- Rehabilitation costs;
- Loss of enjoyment for life; and
- Pain and suffering.
Florida False Imprisonment Laws – Visit the official website for Florida Legislature to find more information about false imprisonment and other related crimes. Access the statutes to learn more about the crime elements, the aggravating factors and possible defenses.
Kidnapping and False Imprisonment – Visit the official website for the United States Department of Justice to find more information about kidnapping and false imprisonment under the federal jurisdiction. See how the U.S. Code charges foreign official kidnappings, international parental kidnappings and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
West Palm Beach Lawyer for False Imprisonment in FL
If you or someone you know has been charged with false imprisonment, it’s within your best interest to contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our team is equipped with twenty years of collective criminal defense knowledge. With our experience and skills, our lawyers will do whatever we can to help you.
It’s time you start preparing for your defense so you can protect your future. Get in contact with us by calling (561) 557-8686 and we will set up your first consultation absolutely free. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County area including Palm Beach Springs, Wellington and Boca Raton.