Facing False Imprisonment Charges in OC?
If you're being accused of a false imprisonment crime in the Southern California area, call our experienced OC criminal attorneys at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti at (714) 530-9690 for capable defense representation.
False imprisonment can often be the result of a situation involving a misunderstanding, but the charge of this crime is very serious and can result in prison time. Law Office of Michael L. Guisti have over a decade of experience successfully defending clients charged crimes like false imprisonment.
The crime of false imprisonment is covered under Penal Code (PC) 236 and can include unlawfully detaining a person or forcing a person to move one place to another. Basically, if you restrict somebody's personal freedom and movement you can potentially be charged with false imprisonment.
In People v. Agnew, the California appellate court ruled, "any exercise of force, express or implied, by which the other person is deprived of his liberty or is compelled to remain where he does not wish to remain, or to go where he does not wish to go, is an imprisonment." Many people believe false imprisonment is the same as kidnapping. However, false imprisonment is a lesser charge than kidnapping and many kidnapping cases are often pleaded down to false imprisonment.
"Me and my ex-girlfriend got into an argument after I picked her up from work. Later that night the police come to my house and arrested me for false imprisonment. Turns out a friend of hers convinced her I was trying to kidnap her. Through God’s hands I found Westminster criminal attorney Michael L. Guisti and he got the case dismissed. God bless you Michael."
False imprisonment under PC 236 is a "wobbler," which means it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on what evidence the District Attorney has and is able to use. In order to be found guilty of a false imprisonment misdemeanor, a prosecutor must show, under California Jury Instructions, Criminal (CALJIC) 16.135, that you intentionally restrained, confined, or detained another person, compelling that person to stay or go somewhere, and the other person never consented.
False imprisonment becomes a felony if a prosecutor can prove the following elements were involved:
- Violence – It's important to understand that "violence," as it pertains to false imprisonment, doesn't have to be anything excessive. Simply grabbing on to a person's arms and not letting them go qualifies as violence.
- Menace – This indicates the threat of harm by expressed or implied words and/or actions. If a prosecutor can prove that verbal threats or a weapon were used to enforce the alleged false imprisonment, the more serious felony charge may be applied.
- Fraud & Deceit – Misrepresentation, concealment, and false promises can be considered fraud and deceit. In the case of false imprisonment, this generally occurs during child custody disputes.
There are several winning defense options available to you that Law Office of Michael L. Guisti have used for over a decade that have freed our clients of this charge. Our defense attorneys can discuss the complexity of this charge with you and work to formulate a defense that's best for your case.
Whether you're charged with a misdemeanor or felony makes all the difference if you'll stay out of jail, or go to state prison. If convicted of misdemeanor false imprisonment, you face up to one year in Orange County jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. If convicted of this charge as a felony you face between 16 months and three years in a California State Prison and fine up to $10,000. Our attorneys can fight to minimize your sentence and reduce penalties of false imprisonment.
False imprisonment is a very serious crime, but our attorneys at Law Office of Michael L. Guisti have over a decade of experience successfully winning these charges in courts throughout Southern California. We want to put our experience to work for you.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.