Sec 236 of the California Penal Code specifically prohibits the wrongful restraint, confinement or detention of another person without their consent. This commonly is known as “false imprisonment”. This does not mean that the individual would need to be in jail to apply the provisions of this offense.
When any of the above acts are done, the offense is charged as a misdemeanor offense. The charge though is elevated to a felony offense when the criminal act was accompanied with violence, such as physical force that is more than what is reasonably necessary to hold someone down and menace, which is the threat of harm implied or expressed through words or actions and fraud or deceit, making false representations or concealment of the truth for some personal gain.
The elements of this crime are as follows:
1) The accused intentionally restrained, confined or detained the victim, to compel the individual to stay or go to another place;
2) The victim did not consent to such acts;
Fraud and deceit are acts that lead to false representations or concealment of the truth for personal gain. Using this means to actualize false imprisonment is not as common as the use of violence or menace to hold an individual against their will.
The penalties for this crime include both civil and criminal penalties. This is a wobbler, meaning that the offense can be charged either as a misdemeanor or felony offense. The misdemeanor offense carries with it one year in county jail while a felony offense would be up to three years in state prison. Civil penalties involve payment of fines and have no jail time.
The crime of false imprisonment is a serious matter in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.