Penal Code 237 deals specifically with the punishments for a false imprisonment conviction in California. False imprisonment convictions may result in incarceration and fines. The Simmrin Law Group can help you fight these charges. Call us today at (310) 997-4688 to learn more.
Defining False Imprisonment in California
While PC 237 handles the punishment for false imprisonment, Penal Code 236 explains exactly what false imprisonment is in the state of California. False imprisonment means violating the personal liberty of someone else in an unlawful way. PC 236 charges may apply if a person is confined, detained, or restrained against their will or consent.
False imprisonment can occur without the use of violence or even force. Individuals can face this charge even if they do not harm anyone physically. Simply locking another person in a room against their will could result in false imprisonment charges.
False Imprisonment Is a Wobbler in California
The court system in California classifies false imprisonment as a “wobbler.” Wobblers are offenses that can get treated as misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanor charges are used in cases that do not involve:
Misdemeanor charges are generally less severe than a felony accusation. Felony charges apply in situations where individuals use fraud, deceit, menace, or violence against others. The prosecution decides how to treat false imprisonment charges.
Results of a Misdemeanor False Imprisonment Conviction
PC 237 deals specifically with the punishments for false imprisonment. Misdemeanor convictions for this act could lead to:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
In some cases, a judge may waive jail time in a misdemeanor case. The judge may instead order the individual to spend time on probation. While on probation, individuals must follow a number of regulations handed down by the court system. Following these regulations may help an individual avoid a probation violation.
Results of a Felony False Imprisonment Conviction
Felony charges lead to more serious consequences than misdemeanor charges. A felony conviction under PC 237 may result in higher fines. Individuals may also end up spending up to three years in jail. Felony probation is sometimes used in false imprisonment cases.
Note that a probation violation is a criminal act in California. Individuals who violate their probation may end up facing additional penalties. For example, violating the court’s regulations may lead to:
- Additional regulations for probation
- A lengthened term of probation
- A revocation of probation and prison time
You can speak to a Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer about probation violations or false imprisonment charges. Get answers to your legal questions now by calling (310) 997-4688.
Penalty Enhancements for False Imprisonment Charges
The court may enhance the results of a false imprisonment conviction in some cases. Individuals may face harsher penalties if false imprisonment involves:
- An elder
- A dependent adult
Additional penalties are added if these individuals experience great bodily injury due to false imprisonment. Individuals may receive up to five additional years in prison for this offense. Individuals who cause the death of an elder or dependent adult face harsher penalties. This could result in up to seven years of additional time in prison.
Legal Defenses for False Imprisonment Charges
Individuals only face penalties for false imprisonment if they are convicted. A criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles may help you build a defense to false imprisonment allegations. Resolving your charges could help you avoid a conviction. Let a lawyer work to show that:
- You had a legal right to restrain someone else.
- You had the individual’s consent to restrain them.
- You were acting to defend yourself when you restrained the individual.
- You legally restrained the individual after they shoplifted from your business.
- You restrained your child in a legal way.
Not all of these defenses are applicable in all situations. A lawyer can review your situation to determine the defense that applies to you. Find out more by reaching out to our team right now.
Talk to a Lawyer About the Punishments for False Imprisonment
California uses PC 237 to define punishments for false imprisonment. If you were charged with a PC 237 violation, the Simmrin Law Group can help. We are standing by to provide you with legal assistance. Reach out to us today for a free consultation at (310) 997-4688. You can also fill out our online contact form.