If you’ve been charged with false imprisonment in the state of Florida, you could be facing prison time, fines, loss of rights under the law, and a criminal record that can be a bar to future employment or educational opportunities. You need to take the matter seriously, and the criminal defense team at the Weinstein Legal Team can help.
Under Florida state statute 787.02(1)(a), false imprisonment means “by threat, or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without lawful authority and against her or his will.” While similar to kidnapping, police departments and state attorneys’ offices are more likely to pursue a false imprisonment charge because it is easier to prove. However, unlike kidnapping, even a simple gesture or threat can be interpreted as false imprisonment.
If you’ve been arrested for false imprisonment in Florida, the Weinstein Legal Team is ready to take your case. These seasoned veterans have handled multiple false imprisonment cases in Orange, Palm Beach, and Broward counties. Call us today to speak with an attorney.
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Matt Shafran was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and supportive He made what would have otherwise been a nightmare experience much, much easier to deal with. He was very understanding about and able to address all of my concerns. He handled my case efficiently and successfully. I would recommend him to anyone who finds themselves in my situation or anything similar.
“I believe it's a defense attorneys duty to be 100% all in when defending a client - no matter the charge.”
“I treat each client's case with the same attention and passion as I would a friend or family members."
Under Florida law, false imprisonment is a third-degree felony — unless the victim is under the age of 13 (12 years of age or younger), in which case it's a first-degree felony. The penalties are as follows:
False Imprisonment of a Victim 13 Years or Older
Up to five years in prison
Up to $5,000 in fines
False Imprisonment of a Victim 12 Years or Younger
Up to 30 years in prison
Up to $10,000 in fines
Of course, because false imprisonment is often charged with other criminal offenses stemming from the same incident, your penalty exposure can be more.
What Happens in the Typical False Imprisonment Case?
For example, you may have had a non-violent domestic quarrel with your partner, who decided to leave your residence. Saying “don't leave” and moving in front of the door could lead the police to arrest you for false imprisonment, depending on how your partner relays the event to them.
False imprisonment is frequently charged in connection with domestic violence incidents. Oftentimes, the defendant will try to prevent the victim from leaving in the hope that they can somehow resolve the argument that led to the disagreement. But there are times when false imprisonment is charged with other crimes, such as robbery, carjacking, etc. While every case is different, a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can often get the charges dropped or reduced. In all criminal cases, it's incumbent on the prosecution to prove the elements of the crime. That means that they need to establish that the defendant forcibly prevented the alleged victim from leaving for some time. If there are weaknesses in the case, the 1a criminal defense lawyer can exploit that to the defendant's advantage. For example, did the defendant explicitly tell the victim that harm would come to them if they tried to leave, or was this merely implied by the defendant's stance and demeanor, which are factors that are subject to interpretation? Oftentimes, a false imprisonment case can be reduced to assault or simple battery, both misdemeanors in Florida.
How Can a Defense Attorney Help With a False Imprisonment Case?
The charges that you're facing are serious, but Weinstein Legal can help. Our criminal defense attorney can:
Examine the probable cause against you, including the police report, victim statement, photographic evidence, call logs, etc.
Depose the alleged victim, witnesses, and officers involved.
File motions to suppress any evidence that was illegally obtained by the police.
Negotiate a plea with the prosecution if we believe that's in your best interest.
Fight for your rights in criminal court if necessary.
You may think that a public defender can adequately represent you, but the fact of the matter is that public defenders throughout Florida tend to have heavy caseloads, which means that yours may not take priority. Private lawyers, like the ones you'll find at the Weinstein Legal Team, manage their own workloads. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation under the protection of attorney-client privilege.