We see this charge a lot when someone is arrested for Domestic Violence and there is an allegation that the suspect blocked the alleged victim from leaving, or prevented them from calling the police by taking their phone from them.
What is False Imprisonment?
Florida Statute 787.02 defines False Imprisonment as follows:
“Forcibly, by threat, or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without lawful authority and against his or her will.”
What is the penalty for False Imprisonment?
In Fort Walton Beach and throughout Florida, this charge is a 3rd-degree felony offense which means that it is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5000.00 fine. Under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines, False Imprisonment is a Level 6 offense, which means it carries 36 points.
What defenses are there to False Imprisonment?
Prosecutors and cops love to “tack on” this charge to any domestic violence arrest where there is any allegation that someone was restrained in any way. However, the prosecutors in Fort Walton Beach are usually smart enough to realize that this charge is difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, just by setting the case for trial, we are successful in getting the False Imprisonment charge dismissed.
If the prosecutor won’t agree to dismiss, another strategy we have used is to set a deposition of the alleged victim. At the deposition, we are able to question the accuser in detail about the allegations with the hope of exposing holes in their story, or establishing that there really wasn’t enough evidence of confinement or restraint to continue with the False Imprisonment charge.
Obviously, every case is different. The advantage of hiring Flaherty & Merrifield is that we have been defending criminal cases right here in Fort Walton Beach since 2001. That means we have the experience to adapt our strategies to fit the circumstances of your case.
Contact a Fort Walton Beach False Imprisonment Attorney
If you or a loved one have been charged with False Imprisonment in Okaloosa County, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 403-6835 for a free consultation.