The key to criminal charges in California is to create a solid defense against the accusations. Trials are meant to hear out both sides so a decision to punish or dismiss can be made. So, you must be prepared to show your side of the story and get the best outcome.

Let's look at the most common defense strategies for false imprisonment claims, as experienced by prescreened California Criminal Defense Attorneys.

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The Most Common Defenses To False Imprisonment Charges In California

In the simplest terms, false imprisonment is holding a person in a place against their will. They don't have to be tied up or restrained for it to be considered false imprisonment. For example, locking someone in an office or refusing to let them leave when they want to without any legal grounds to do so.

So, here's how a defendant and their Los Angeles Criminal Lawyer might defend against that:

1. The Alleged Victim Wasn't Confined Or Detained

Even if the alleged victim had reason to believe they were confined to the room and couldn't leave, the defendant could not be found guilty of false imprisonment if the alleged victim was mistaken about being able to leave a room, car, or any other confined area. For example, the alleged victim thought they were locked inside a room when they really weren't.

That said, the defendant can be charged with false imprisonment, presumably as a felony for the use of deception or deceit, if they did anything to make the claimed victim feel they were confined, restricted, or detained.

2. Self-Defense or Other People's Defense

The defendant may argue that they were acting in self-defense or the defense of others if they restrained the alleged victim because they had a good faith belief that they, the defendant, or another person were in immediate danger.

Some examples of this defense are as follows:

  • You locked someone in a room because they were turning violent. Doing so protected you and others from possible harm.
  • You stopped another person from harming themselves. For example, you took their keys, so they don't drive while drunk or unwell.

You must detail everything that happened to your California Criminal Defense Attorney. More information allows them to build a more robust defense in your favor.

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3. The Alleged Victim Gave Their Consent

If the claimed victim gave their permission to be restrained, detained, or otherwise confined, the defendant could not be found guilty of false imprisonment. That said, if consent was given because of deceit and intimidation, that would not count as genuine consent.

4. No Justified Fear of Threat

The claimed victim must have a reasonable belief that the defendant will carry out their threat before a defendant can be found guilty of false imprisonment for confining, restricting, or detaining a person under the threat of violence, destruction of property, or any other similar danger.

The defendant cannot be found guilty of false imprisonment if the alleged victim lacks that reasonable belief, either because they don't think the defendant has the required physical strength, don't believe the defendant has the kind of character to carry out the threat, or feel the defendant was making a joke.

5. Unfounded Accusations

It is not uncommon for one party to falsely accuse the other in cases of domestic violence out of resentment or a desire for payback.

An adept, prescreened California defense lawyer can raise a reasonable question regarding the veracity of a claim of false detention. That may be sufficient to successfully refute the accusation since the prosecution must establish the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.

6. The Alleged Victim Was Free To Leave If They Wanted

In these situations, it may be argued that the alleged victim was free to leave and that there was no physical restriction. The defendant did not put restrictions, locked doors, and dropped threats that would stop the alleged victim from leaving.

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