False Imprisonment And Domestic Violence
“Wait! Please! Don’t go.”
When a spouse grabs onto the arm of their partner in an attempt to prevent them from leaving, they run the risk of being charged with false imprisonment in addition to domestic violence charges. This happens to good people in California on a regular basis who find themselves facing multiple criminal charges as the result of a marital argument or drunken outburst. Once the police arrive, someone is going to jail and the prosecutor will be looking to bring charges.
What Is False Imprisonment?
According to sections 236 and 237 of the penal code, false imprisonment is “the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another.” Prosecutors in domestic violence cases will be looking to prove that the accused restrained another person and that their conduct actually prevented the person from moving or leaving the situation.
Prosecutors Need Leverage
It is difficult to prove false imprisonment, so why do prosecutors bring these charges? The reason they add charges such as false imprisonment, battery and dissuading a witness to domestic violence charges is to gain leverage. They use the presence of multiple criminal charges to negotiate a plea agreement, providing them with the conviction they want while removing the additional charges.
False Imprisonment Penal Code 236
False Imprisonment. It sounds like a hostage situation in a movie. Unfortunately, False Imprisonment is a very common charge involved in a Domestic Violence situation. Call the Premier Domestic Violence Law Group if you find yourself charged with this crime at (619) 752-3702.
What is False Imprisonment?
False imprisonment, as defined in Penal Code 236 PC, is an “unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another.” In simpler terms, false imprisonment is the act of preventing another person from moving around freely. The crime of false imprisonment has two very specific elements. The state must prove that you are guilty of each of these elements in order to get a conviction:
- You intentionally and unlawfully restrained, detained, or confined another person;
- Your actions prevented that person from moving freely.
Intentionally and Unlawfully Restrained Another
False imprisonment involves a violation of another person’s personal liberty. This violation occurs when you intentionally prevent someone from moving freely and willfully. You will be considered to have acted intentionally if you did something on purpose. Detaining someone accidentally or through an act of negligence will not be considered “intentional.” You do not actually have to physically restrain or hold another person to be guilty of false imprisonment. You could be charged with false imprisonment if you detained someone by locking them inside of a room. You could also face charges if you prevented someone from moving freely by threatening them with a dangerous weapon. All that matters is that you interfere with their ability and freedom to move. A common situation is when a person holds or pins someone to a bed or the ground. This may have been a result of the person being assaulted by the alleged victim and they restrain them only to make sure they were not going to continue to be attacked. In certain situations, the police hear only, “they pinned me on the bed”, and conclude the actual aggressor was the victim. Often, a premature arrest is made as a result. Contact the Premier Domestic Violence Law Group at (858) 751-4384 so your side of the story can be heard.
Prevented Another From Moving Freely
In order to be convicted of false imprisonment, you must have prevented another person from moving freely. This can occur in one of two ways:
- You prevent a person from exercising free will and leaving a particular location; or
- You purposefully move someone to a location without their consent.
Consent means that a person agrees to something while fully understanding the consequences of those actions. Consent does not exist if it is obtained using force, coercion, fraud, or duress. A common situation is where a person stands in the doorway of a room when someone is packing up wanting to leave the house. The person in the doorway does not want the other to leave. That person does not have to physically restrain the other to get arrested. However, there are situations where someone was merely trying to talk to someone with no ill-intent while in the doorway. Bottom line, the key is getting your side of the story heard. Call the Premier Domestic Violence Law Group if you find yourself charged with this crime at (619) 752-3702.
Get Leverage Of Your Own
At Premier Domestic Violence Law Group, based in San Diego, we are led by a former criminal prosecutor who knows the games the prosecution will play. We use that perspective to stay one move ahead of them and get the best possible outcome for our clients. The time to act is now if you face false imprisonment or other charges related to a domestic violence case. Contact us for a free consultation.