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False Imprisonment & Kidnapping

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What Is False Imprisonment?

False imprisonment refers to the unlawful and unjustified restraint or confinement of an individual by someone who does not have the legal authority to do so.

The circumstances that lead to false imprisonment charges can vary but can include the use of restraints to keep an individual bound in place as well as efforts to prevent movement by confining them to a room, vehicle, or other space.

There are situations where imprisonment, even by a civilian, is considered lawful. For instance, if an individual restrains someone who has carried out a robbery or violent offense, the restraint may be considered justified. False imprisonment can also occur when a parent knowingly restrains their child and thus infringes on their freedom of movement in an unlawful way.

If an individual knowingly and unlawfully restrains an individual who is 18 years or older, the offense is considered a misdemeanor in the second degree. If, however, the individual is under the age of 18, the offense of upgrade to a felony of the second degree.

§ 2903 False Imprisonment

Per PA law, under 18, PA C.S.A 2903, an individual can be charged with False Imprisonment if the event meets the following requirements:

(a) Offense defined.–Except as provided under subsection (b) or (c), a person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he knowingly restrains another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with his liberty.

(b) False imprisonment of a minor where offender is not victim’s parent.–If the victim is a person under 18 years of age, a person who is not the victim’s parent commits a felony of the second degree if he knowingly restrains another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with his liberty.

(c) False imprisonment of a minor where offender is victim’s parent.–If the victim is a person under 18 years of age, a parent of the victim commits a felony of the second degree if he knowingly restrains another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with his liberty.

What Is Kidnapping?

Unlike false imprisonment, the crime of kidnapping requires the additional acts of either removing the person a substantial distance from the location the victim was found or confining a person in isolation intending to hold the person for ransom, to commit a felony, to cause bodily injury to that person or to prevent a public official from performing their job.

Kidnapping is always considered a felony in the first degree, whether it’s the unlawful removal of an adult or child. As such, this is a serious criminal violation and it’s imperative that you seek counsel as quickly as possible.

§ 2901 Kidnapping

According to the Pennsylvania criminal statute under 18, PA C.S.A 2901, an individual can be charged with Kidnapping if the event meets the following requirements:

(a) Offense defined.–Except as provided in subsection (a.1), a person is guilty of kidnapping if he unlawfully removes another a substantial distance under the circumstances from the place where he is found, or if he unlawfully confines another for a substantial period in a place of isolation, with any of the following intentions:

(1) To hold for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage.

(2) To facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter.

(3) To inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another.

(4) To interfere with the performance by public officials of any governmental or political function.

(a.1) Kidnapping of a minor.–A person is guilty of kidnapping of a minor if he unlawfully removes a person under 18 years of age a substantial distance under the circumstances from the place where he is found, or if he unlawfully confines a person under 18 years of age for a substantial period in a place of isolation, with any of the following intentions:

(1) To hold for ransom or reward, or as a shield or hostage.

(2) To facilitate commission of any felony or flight thereafter.

(3) To inflict bodily injury on or to terrorize the victim or another.

(4) To interfere with the performance by public officials of any governmental or political function.

If You've Been Charged

Without the proper defense, kidnapping or false imprisonment charges can result in serious sentencing, substantial financial obligations, and a major disruption to your life as well as the lives of those who rely on you. If you’re being charged with either of these offenses, your first step should be to secure a defense team that is well-versed in this type of criminal trial and is ready to dedicate the time and expertise to your case.

The attorneys at Palissery Hinrichs, LLC. have the legal experience and to defend you during what can be a complicated and emotional criminal process. If you have been accused of False Imprisonment or Kidnapping in Eastern or Central Pennsylvania, call us today at 570-331-4LAW or by submitting an online request for a free case evaluation.

False imprisonment or kidnapping are serious allegations  with serious consequences that can easily include  a substantial period of incarceration, which affects not only the defendant, but also the immediate members of his or her family.  The attorneys at Palissery Hinrichs LLC. are experienced  trial attorneys who can ensure that the rights of the accused are protected and fully provided to him or her. When an individual is represented by Palissery Hinrichs LLC,  that the Commonwealth can expect a vigorous battle challenging every aspect of the alleged evidence.

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