False Imprisonment (PC 236):
In order to be guilty of False Imprisonment in the state of California, the prosecutor must show that two factors were present, the defendant intentionally restrained another person or confined another person by violence and/or threats of violence, and, the defendant made the other person stay in a confined place or made the victim go somewhere, against his/her consent and/or without legal justification.
Penalties (PC 236):
False Imprisonment can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor under Penal Code 236. If charged with a misdemeanor, the defendant can expect to serve up to 1 year in county jail. If charged with a felony, the defendant can expect to serve up to 3 years in California State Prison. However, in addition to the jail terms, there are other severe consequences in being charged with false imprisonment. For example, there are fines, immigration consequences, employment loss, civil lawsuits, increased insurance rates, mandatory rehabilitation classes, restraining orders and more.
Two closely related crimes to False Imprisonment include: Penal Code 237 PC, False Imprisonment with violence- it is considered a felony or misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 3 years. Penal Code 210.5 PC, False Imprisonment of a hostage- it is considered a felony, with a maximum of 8 years.
Legal Defenses (PC 236):
There are many defenses to the crime of false imprisonment depending on the circumstances of each case. It is very possible to reduce false imprisonment charges to a less severe charge or to reduce the amount of jail time associated with the charge.