Being Falsely Imprisoned
It is accepted in our society and legal system that individuals have liberty (barring appropriate restrictions). If that liberty were to be violated, there would be consequences. One way of losing your liberty is through being falsely imprisoned by someone else. In California, the penal code protects individuals against being falsely imprisoned and sets out punishments for those found guilty of the crime.
What are the elements?
According to California Penal Code 236, false imprisonment is an illegal act that occurs when a victim is held against their will. The penal code states that there are a few instances when this crime occurs. The prosecution can prove that a victim was falsely imprisoned if the defendant restrained, detained, or confined the victim without their consent. Now, these elements don’t apply when someone has a legal right to restrain, detain, or confine. If a police officer has an arrest warrant for an individual, the officer is legally permitted to detain that individual, whether the person likes it or not. There are other legal circumstances that would act as a defense to this crime, such as consent from the individual.
Penalties and Punishment
If the prosecution proves that the defendant restrained, detained, or confined a person without legal justification and without the person’s consent, the defendant faces either a misdemeanor or a felony. The difference comes down to the defendant’s criminal history and the context of the crime. For a misdemeanor, the defendant faces up to a year in jail, while a felony can require up to three years.