Orlando False Imprisonment Attorney
Florida Statute 787.02 defines false imprisonment as a crime in which one person, by threat, forcibly, or secretly confines, abducts, traps, or restrains another person without legal authority and against their will. Also, according to this statute, an offense is considered to be false imprisonment if a person confines a child who is thirteen years old or younger against their will if the confinement was not consented to by the parent or legal guardian of the child. There are a lot of misunderstandings about what exactly false imprisonment is and the weight it carries.
One of the most common misconceptions about this crime is that it is only a minor offense. To say it is a minor offense could not be further from the truth. It is classified as a third-degree felony and carries severe penalties for anyone who is found guilty. If you are facing false imprisonment charges, time is of the essence. No one should be refused a second chance after a mistake. Effective legal representation in your case could be the difference between spending a lifetime struggling as a convicted felon or getting the chance to move on from a mistake and continue to live your life to the fullest.
Examples of False Imprisonment
Someone who finds themselves accused of false imprisonment may be shocked. They may not even realize that they were acting in an unlawful manner when the alleged incident took place. After all, there is a lot of misinformation floating around out there about this crime. Among these misconceptions are the notions that for an act to be considered false imprisonment, the level of confinement of another person has to be serious or go on for a long time. The only two things a Florida prosecutor needs to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a person committed false imprisonment is that a defendant confined, captured, restrained, or trapped another individual and did so without any legal authority. Here are some examples of false imprisonment to help shed some light:
- Grabbing someone by the arm to force them from one place to another. See Proko v. State, 566 So. 2d 918 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1990)
- Grabbing another person by the arms and attempting to drag them. See Jane v. State, 362 So.2d 1005 (Fla. 4th DCA 1978)
- Embracing another person in a bear hug. See Chaeld v. State, 599 So. 2d 1362, 1364 (Fla. 1st D.C.A. 1992).
False Imprisonment vs. Kidnapping
There is already a lot at stake if you are charged with false imprisonment. But, to make matters even more serious, a seasoned prosecutor could also be able to charge you with kidnapping on top of the false imprisonment charges. This is because it must be proved that a person captured, confined, restrained, or trapped another person without lawful authority. That is also one of the elements of a kidnapping offense. A prosecutor who has experience handling false imprisonment and kidnapping cases will go to any length to find out whatever they can about your specific case. They can add on kidnapping charges if they can prove that you intended to do one or more of the following to the person:
- Cause physical injury or torment to them
- Use them to complete or help to complete a felony
- Use them to impede on the performance of any political or governmental role
- Ransom them or use them as a hostage or human shield
False Imprisonment Penalties in Florida
False imprisonment is taken so seriously because it is a crime that deprives another person of their personal liberty, movement, or freedom, even if only for a short amount of time. Under Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, false imprisonment is categorized as a Level 6 in severity. If a person is convicted of this offense, they may be sentenced to the statutory maximum of five (5) years in prison. In addition, they could also face up to five (5) years of probation upon release, as well as high monetary fines up to $5,000.
There are situations where false imprisonment charges can become aggravated and carry extreme punishments, such as life in prison. But, these are not where the consequences stop. Anyone convicted of a felony in Florida will have that conviction on their permanent record, making it extremely difficult to do things like find employment, obtain financial aid for higher education, rent a home/apartment, and so much more.
Possible Defenses to False Imprisonment Charges
Every case has a different set of circumstances, which means it is important to have an attorney who thoroughly examines your specific case. By reviewing your case in its entirety, your attorney can not only raise certain pretrial and trial defenses, which are applicable to any criminal case but also pinpoint more specific defenses that would be the most efficacious. Having counsel who will take the time to formulate the best defense strategy for you puts you at a huge advantage. Some of the tentative defenses to false imprisonment charges are:
- Shopkeeper’s privilege
- The alleged victim gave consent to be restrained
- The supposed victim was not confined or restrained
- Parental authority
- Lack of evidence
Why Hire an Attorney?
The fact that people think false imprisonment is a minor crime means many accused individuals may think there is no need for a defense attorney. However, with all of the harsh, long-lasting penalties associated with a felony conviction in Florida, this could ultimately turn out to be a devastating decision. People who have spent their lives training and gaining experiences in the criminal justice system, such as judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers, can be unscrupulous, and it is important to have an attorney who will aggressively defend you. Unfortunately, you are more likely to be sentenced to the most severe penalties if you try to confront these courtroom players without legal representation.
Attorney Rahul Parikh is Dedicated to Your Defense
At Parikh Law, P.A., we recognize that we are all only human and make mistakes every now and then. We also believe that just because someone has made mistakes does not mean they are no longer worthy of a bright and fulfilling life. Attorney Rahul Y. Parikh does not simply view defending others as a simple job but as a calling to uphold justice. His legal career began at the Orange County, Florida Office of the State Attorney, where he gained valuable experience and knowledge. His time as a prosecutor also gave him the unique opportunity to witness firsthand how Florida prosecutors approach criminal cases, such as false imprisonment cases. Building upon that knowledge and combining it with his genuine concern for his clients, he has shown that he will go to all lengths necessary to provide the most effective counsel to the people he defends. If you or a loved one has been charged with false imprisonment, please contact us today for your free and confidential consultation with Attorney Rahul Parikh.