Many people would be surprised to learn that, in Florida, something as simple as grabbing a person by the arm can constitute false imprisonment. False imprisonment is defined, however, as forcibly, secretly, or by threat, restraining, abducting or confining someone against his or her will and without lawful authority.
Generally, false imprisonment claims, in Miami-Dade County, arise in domestic disputes between spouses or people in intimate relationships, but it can also occur in a retail setting. Holding someone suspected of theft in a store, without the proper procedure, may also be considered false imprisonment.
Attorney for False Imprisonment in South Miami, Florida
It is not always clear what evidence is of false imprisonment is sufficient to sustain a conviction. Speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney can be invaluable in helping you prepare to fight for your rights.
Call attorney E.J. Hubbs for more information about how best to defend false imprisonment.
E.J. Hubbs has offices in South Miami on Sunset Drive and an office in North Miami on 123rd Street.
E.J. Hubbs takes cases in Miami-Dade County, in cities like South Miami, Kendall, Pinecrest, Dadeland, Coral Gables, The Crossings, and Palmetto Bay.
Elements of False Imprisonment under §787.02
For the State of Florida to convict someone of false imprisonment, the prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, the following:
- the defendant secretly, by threat, or forcibly;
- abducted, imprisoned, restrained, or confined;
- the victim, against his or her will;
- without lawful authority.
The Fasion test is used for determining whether a particular kind of confinement or movement during the commission of another crime constitutes kidnapping. The Faison test does not apply to false imprisonment.
Aggravated False Imprisonment in Miami, FL
Aggravated false imprisonment is an offense against a minor and may be punishable by up to life in prison.
To be convicted of aggravated false imprisonment the prosecutor must show, in addition to the elements in §787.02(1)(a), the following:
- that at the time of the false imprisonment the victim was under thirteen (13) years old; and
- in the course of committing the false imprisonment, the defendant committed one or more of the following:
- aggravated child abuse;
- a lewd or lascivious battery;
- a sexual battery against the victim;
- a lewd or lascivious molestation;
- procuring a child for prostitution upon the victim;
- forcing, compelling, or coercing another to be a prostitute upon the victim; or
- human trafficking for commercial sexual activity in which, a minor or a mentally defective or incapacitated person was involved.
Penalties for False Imprisonment Convictions
False imprisonment is a third-degree felony, punishable by punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.
Aggravated false imprisonment of a child under thirteen (13) years old, in Florida, comes with far more serious penalties. Aggravated false imprisonment is punishable by up to life in prison and up to $15,000 fines.
Lesser-Included Offenses of False Imprisonment
False imprisonment is a third-degree felony in Florida, but a defendant may be convicted of any of the following lesser-included offenses:
Civil Penalties for False Imprisonment in Florida
Florida law also allows a victim to recover monetary damages for false imprisonment in civil court.
A civil claim for false imprisonment requires an intentional restraint under circumstances that were unreasonable, unwarranted, and without legal authority that caused harm.
"Intentional restraint” is defined as purposefully restraining the claimant with the knowledge that such restraint would, to a substantial certainty, result from the act.
Restrained is defined as being held against your will and without consent. Under the civil statute, probable cause and arrest executed under a warrant are complete defenses.
False Imprisonment under § 787.02 –Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida State Legislature to find the full statutory language for the Florida Statute concerning false imprisonment. Also, find more information about the more serious offense of kidnapping, or the lesser-included offenses of attempted false imprisonment, battery, or assault.
“Double Offenses” - Problems in Kidnapping and False Imprisonment Cases – Visit the website of the Florida Bar Journal to learn more about the differences between kidnapping and false imprisonment. The article explains why false imprisonment is a lesser-included offense of kidnapping and gives examples of the kinds of actions that have received false imprisonment convictions in the past.
Find an Attorney for False Imprisonment in Miami-Dade County, Florida
False imprisonment, also known as false arrest or wrongful arrest, can occur under multiple kinds of circumstances. False imprisonment can also be charged as a civil claim. Call Hubbs Law to speak with attorney E.J Hubbs for more information about the kind of false imprisonment claim against you or someone you know.
Call attorney E.J. Hubbs for more information about the best course of action in handling false imprisonment charges.
E.J. Hubbs takes cases throughout Miami-Dade County, in cities like South Miami Heights, Cutler Bay, Princeton, Redland, Leisure City, Homestead, and Florida City, Florida.
Call (305) 665-9040
now to schedule an appointment to speak one-on-one with attorney E.J Hubbs at his offices in South Miami on Sunset Drive and in North Miami on 123rd Street.
This article was last updated on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.