False Imprisonment

The unlawful restraint of another person against his or her will is a felony offense in the state of Florida. People who are convicted of this offense not only face the possibility of significant fines, but they can receive lengthy prison sentences.

These charges can often accompany crimes relating to domestic violence or kidnapping, and prosecutors will often pursue the maximum punishment in such cases. The stigma associated with an offense like this can result in additional damage to a person’s career if convicted.


If you have been accused of falsely imprisoning another person, it is critical for you to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Roelke Law represents clients throughout the greater Jacksonville area, including such communities as Green Cove Springs, Orange Park, Callahan, Middleburg, St. Augustine, and Hilliard.

Bill Roelke has been defending people against criminal charges in state and federal courts all over Florida for more than 20 years. You can call (904) 354-0333 or send us an online message today to take advantage of a free consultation that will let him review your case.


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Under Florida Statute § 787.02, falsely imprisoning another person is defined as “forcibly, by threat, or secretly confining, abducting, imprisoning, or restraining another person without lawful authority and against her or his will.” This is a felony of the third degree.

However, the same statute also states that this is a felony of the first degree if the victim is a child under the age of 13 and the alleged imprisonment also involved one of the following offenses:

  • Aggravated child abuse
  • Sexual battery
  • Lewd or lascivious battery
  • Lewd or lascivious molestation
  • Lewd or lascivious conduct
  • Lewd or lascivious exhibition
  • Forcing, compelling, or coercing another to become a prostitute
  • Procuring person under age of 18 for prostitution
  • Exploitation of the child or allowing the child to be exploited

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A conviction for falsely imprisoning another person can result in the following penalties, depending on the classification of the offense:

  • Felony of the Third Degree — Up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Felony of the First Degree — Up to life in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

While a felony of the first degree normally has a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, Florida Statute § 787.02 specifically makes this offense punishable by life imprisonment if the victim is under the age of 13.

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In many cases in which somebody claims they were falsely imprisoned or unlawfully restrained, an alleged offender needs the help of a skilled criminal defense lawyer who can conduct a thorough investigation that helps determine the validity of such claims. An attorney may be able to get the charges against you reduced or even dismissed by utilizing one of the following defenses:

  • Alleged imprisonment was for the protection of the alleged victim
  • Alleged offender had parental authority to confine alleged victim
  • Alleged victim consented to the restraint
  • Lack of evidence of imprisonment
  • False accusations
  • Mistaken identity

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Roelke Law helps people in Duval County, St. Johns County, Clay County, and Nassau County who have been accused of falsely imprisoning another person. Our firm represents clients throughout Jacksonville and nearby areas like Ponte Vedra Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Fernandina Beach, and Atlantic Beach.

Bill Roelke will work tirelessly to identify any flaws in the case against you, and he will take the time to learn about who you are so prosecutors and the court consider more than just the limited facts that led to your arrest. You can have him review your case by sending us an online message or calling (904) 354-0333 today.

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