Attorneys for False Imprisonment Charges in Central & South Florida
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 Weinstein Legal can help. These seasoned veterans have handled multiple false imprisonment cases in Orange, Palm Beach, and Broward counties. Call today. Your freedom depends on it.
What is False Imprisonment?
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.” This is closely related to kidnapping, but police departments and state attorneys’ offices are much more likely to pursue a false imprisonment charge because the elements of false imprisonment are easier to prove. Unfortunately, for many defendants who never intended to restrain the movements of their alleged victims, even a simple gesture or threat can be interpreted as false imprisonment. 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.
What Are the Penalties for False Imprisonment?
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?
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 period of 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, which are both misdemeanors in the state of Florida. If you are charged with false imprisonment, it’s not generally in your best interest to make statements to the police. Instead, contact a violent crimes defense attorney who has experience with false imprisonment cases. In Broward, Palm Beach, and Orange counties, you’ll find those attorneys at Weinstein Legal.
Why Should You Choose the Weinstein Legal Law Firm?
With offices in Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Orlando, the Weinstein Legal criminal defense team has successfully fought for the rights of hundreds of defendants who were charged with false imprisonment or similar crimes. The sooner we are involved in your criminal defense, the better the chance you have for a favorable outcome.
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 the 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 Weinstein Legal, manage their own workloads. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation under the protection of attorney-client privilege. We have three offices serving South and Central Florida and the Treasure Coast: