False imprisonment and kidnapping are both extremely serious criminal charges in California. Your life has the potential to change drastically when accused of these criminal offenses. You could easily face several years in prison if convicted.
If you are facing charges like these—call today for a free consultation on your case. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers can assist you in building a solid defense, and protecting your rights in court.
California False Imprisonment – Laws & Penalties
Under California Penal Code Sections 236-237, false imprisonment is defined as violating the personal liberty of another. There are many situations that can be applied under this law. But if you hold someone against their will, it can definitely be considered false imprisonment.
Generally, false imprisonment is punishable by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. If the alleged crime involves violence, fraud, deceit, or menace, the sentence will be served in a state prison.
Kidnapping – Laws & Penalties
Kidnapping has some similarities to false imprisonment, though it is considered a more serious offense. California Penal Code defines this offense as stealing, taking, holding, detaining someone by force or fear and taking that person to another location.
You don’t have to transport the alleged victim very far to be charged with kidnapping; merely moving them to another location within the county will suffice. And it doesn’t have to be a dramatic event with a ransom note.
In general, kidnapping is a felony offense punishable by 3,5, or 8 years. If the alleged victim is less than 14 years of age the potential sentence is 5, 8, or 11 years.
Although you could be granted probation for a kidnapping charge, the statutes require a 12 month sentence in the county jail as a condition of such probation or the judge must specify why such a mandatory jail sentence is inappropriate.
If the kidnapping involves a ransom or if it is done with the intent to rape or otherwise sexually assault the alleged victim, the sentence can be far lengthier.
These crimes are considered very serious. If they involve a child, they are treated with even more indignation by law enforcement and prosecutors. When looking at a prison sentence or a permanent criminal record, you need to be assured that you have put your confidence in a defense attorney that has your back.
If you are facing charges of kidnapping or false imprisonment, contact our California criminal defense law offices today for a consultation.