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FALSE IMPRISONMENT

FALSE IMPRISONMENT

It does not take much to “falsely imprison” someone. All it takes is to simply restrict someone’s freedom of movement. So stopping someone from leaving during an argument or holding a person in a tight bear huge –against his or her will—could be considered false imprisonment.

Anyone can be charged with false imprisonment. For example, if a retailer wants to prevent someone from stealing and he or she stops the customer from leaving, if the retailer failed to call the police, then he or she could be charged with false imprisonment.

Since the lines are not always clear, it is important to have an attorney who has worked on these cases for years.

Attorney in West Chester for False Imprisonment

Criminal defense attorney, Michael Skinner has been practicing in Pennsylvania for many years. He has extensive criminal trial experience throughout the Pennsylvania boroughs.

Call the Skinner Law Firm at (610) 436-1410 as soon as possible for a consultation about false imprisonment.

Skinner Law Firm represents clients accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses throughout the Boroughs of Media in Delaware County, Lancaster in Lancaster County, Norristown in Montgomery County, and West Chester in Chester County.


Elements of the Criminal Charge False Imprisonment under Pennsylvania Statute §2903

Pennsylvania has set the standards for false imprisonment under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code in §2903. A person commits false imprisonment if he or she, knowingly, restrained another person, unlawfully, in such a way that substantially interfered with his or her liberty.

False Imprisonment of a Minor

Criminal charges for false arrest of a minor are enhanced. If the defendant is not the parent and the victim is under 18 years old, then the defendant is guilty of falsely imprisoning a minor.

Being a parent does not always exempt you from criminal charges. A parent may also face criminal charges for falsely imprisoning their minor child.

The term “parent” is defined as a natural parent, adoptive parent, stepparent, or guardian of a minor.


Penalties for False Imprisonment under Pennsylvania Law

Pennsylvania law provides separate charges for committing false imprisonment based on whether the individual was a minor. For penalty purposes, it does not matter whether the defendant is the minor’s parent.

Falsely imprisoning an adult is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by to two (2) years in prison and up to $5,000 fines.

Falsely imprisoning a minor constitutes a second-degree felony, punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison and up to $25,000.


Examples of False Imprisonment

Since false imprisonment can be hard to identify, some examples of situations that have been defined as false imprisonment, under Pennsylvania law, may be helpful. The following are a few examples of false imprisonment:

  • a retailer who holds a customer for a substantial period of time without notifying the police;
  • a person who locks someone in a room or closet; or
  • a person who holds someone in such a way that he or she cannot move or leave that position.

Kidnapping versus False Imprisonment in Pennsylvania

The fundamental difference between false imprisonment and kidnapping is that kidnapping involves transporting the victim to a different place, whereas false imprisonment does not.

One way a person can be found guilty of kidnapping is if he or she unlawfully moves another person a substantial distance from the place where he or she originated.

Additional Resources</strong

Kidnapping – Visit the Women’s Law.org website for the full language of the Pennsylvania statute §2903. There is also information on other offenses that are usually associated with false imprisonment such as kidnapping, domestic violence, and rape cases.

False Imprisonment in a Nursing Home – Visit the University of Pennsylvania Law School website for more information on False Imprisonment by nursing homes. The article discusses inadequate conditions and health care in nursing homes and poses the question of whether this rises to the level of tortuous false imprisonment.

Finding an Attorney in West Chester, Pennsylvania for False Imprisonment

Attorney Michael Skinner has been practicing criminal defense in Pennsylvania for years. He has extensive criminal trial experience and has represented clients accused of misdemeanor and felony offenses throughout the Boroughs of Norristown in Montgomery County, Media in Delaware County, Lancaster in Lancaster County, and West Chester in Chester County.

Call (610) 436-1410 for a consultation about criminal false imprisonment charges.

Michael Skinner
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