CA Penal Code Section 210.5: False Imprisonment of a Hostage is a very specific criminal charge. Individuals can only be convicted under PC 210.5 if they falsely imprison another person while trying to avoid arrest or with the intent to use the person as a human shield.
Learn more about the definition of false imprisonment and the results of a PC 210.5 conviction right here. The Simmrin Law Group can even help you go over possible legal defenses for false imprisonment of a hostage charge.
False Imprisonment of a Hostage: Legal Definition
PC 210.5 involves a very limited form of false imprisonment. A false imprisonment is actually a criminal act on its own in California, prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 236. Individuals can be convicted of false imprisonment if they:
- Restrain, Confine, or Detain Another Person
- Without the Person’s Consent
- In an Unlawful Way
In order for false imprisonment to meet the standards of PC 210.5, however, a victim must be restrained, confined, or detained in order to:
- Protect Someone Else from Arrest
- Be Used as a Human Shield
Additionally, this imprisonment must raise the level of harm the victim experiences for a PC 210.5 charge to apply. This charge can have serious consequences if the victim is injured in any way.
False Imprisonment of a Hostage: Examples
You can go over some examples involving false imprisonment of a hostage right here:
Man A decides to rob a bank. He enters the bank and threatens a teller into giving him money, unaware that she set off an alarm. When the police arrive, he grabs the teller and holds her at gunpoint. He attempts to use threats to her safely to escape the bank. He could be charged with false imprisonment of a hostage.
Man B is on the run after shooting his brother-in-law over a family despite. He decides to hide out in a local motel and takes the cleaning lady hostage when she comes by to check on his room. He keeps her in the room until the police arrive and threaten to kill her if they don’t give in to his demands for freedom. However, he does not actually have any weapons with him. He could face criminal charges for his actions but might avoid a PC 210.5 charge since he could not actually endanger her.
False Imprisonment of a Hostage: Penalties for a Conviction
False imprisonment of a hostage is prosecuted as a felony in California courts. A conviction can lead to 3-8 years of incarceration in jail. This sentence represents basic sentencing for a false imprisonment accusation. Penalties may be enhanced if:
- The Victim Suffers a Great Bodily Injury
- The Victim is Exposed to Unlawful Force or Violence
- The Victim is Kidnapped
- The Victim is Murdered
This means that, depending on the exact nature of the PC 210.5 violation, a conviction could lead to life in prison or even the death penalty.
False Imprisonment of a Hostage: Legal Defenses
A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles can help you build your case if you are accused of false imprisonment of a hostage. There are several possible defenses that can be used if you are facing this charge. Successfully resolving your case could involve arguing that:
The Alleged Victim Wasn’t Falsely Imprisoned
You should not face criminal charges under PC 210.5 if you had the alleged victim’s consent to confine or restrain them. You must act against another person’s will in order to be convicted of false imprisonment of a hostage.
The Alleged Victim Didn’t Face Any Increased Chance of Harm
Part of the false imprisonment of a hostage charge involves subjecting a victim to an increased risk of injury or harm. If you had no means to actually harm the victim, even though you threatened it, you may be able to avoid a PC 210.5 conviction.
You Were Forced to Falsely Imprison the Victim
Sometimes, false imprisonment situations can become very complicated. If someone else was forcing you to falsely imprison a hostage then you may be able to build a legal defense to the PC 210.5 charges you are facing.
Speak with a Lawyer About False Imprisonment of a Hostage
You have legal options if you are charged under CA Penal Code Section 210.5: False Imprisonment of a Hostage. Get information from professional criminal defense lawyers by reaching out the Simmrin Law Group right now. You can speak with us by completing our online contact form, or calling (310) 896-2723.
Get help building a legal defense right now with a FREE consultation.