San Fernando Valley False Imprisonment Lawyer


Having practiced criminal defense for twenty five years, I have seen my share of false imprisonment cases filed all over San Fernando Valley. Many times this will come up in a domestic violence setting, other times it will come up during some type of violent felony.

Either way, prosecutors and judges take these cases very seriously because a person who commits a crime like this takes away a person’s movement and one of their important liberties. There is a loss of freedom and many times someone who is willing to restrict a person in this manner is classified as dangerous and someone that may commit a more serious offense in the future.

It is my experience, that if we can convince the prosecutors that the subject person’s actions were an aberration this is not likely to happen again and show them why the person did it and that they are not going to do it again, then we have taken the first step towards resolving the matter in an equitable manner.

We typically will get character letters that can speak to our client’s good name and standing in the community and do everything we can to show they are an upstanding citizen who made a mistake.

Another strategy we employ is to show the prosecutor and judge the surrounding circumstances that led up the subject behavior. Many of the cases that I have handled over the years have been mitigated once the other side see that you are not a bad person, you are not likely to engage in this type of behavior again and it is not as bad as the police have reported.


False Imprisonment is defined under California Penal Code Section 236 and makes it a crime to wrongfully restrain, confine, or detain a person without his or her consent and without a reasonable means of escape. Locking them in a room that they could not get out of would be enough to meet the elements of false imprisonment in Los Angeles County.

The crime is a wobbler, meaning that it may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the specific circumstances of the case. The more serious the actions and the more danger involved, the more likely the case will be filed as a felony. Domestic violence scenarios are ripe for false imprisonment charges, and many times we can get the prosecutors to dismiss this charge in a favorable plea negotiation.

False imprisonment is usually charged as a misdemeanor if the prosecution believes they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant intentionally restrained, confined, or detained another person and the other person did not consent.

False imprisonment will usually be charged as a felony if the prosecution additionally believes they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that violence, fraud, or deceit was involved in the restraining, confining, and/or detaining.

It is important to understand that kidnapping and false imprisonment are not the same crime. However, if a person goes too far during a violence episode, then the prosecutor can up the charges to kidnapping and they could possible face life in prison.

Kidnapping is a felony offense and is the taking away or movement of another person against their will by force or threat. Punishment for kidnapping may result in a significant prison sentence, depending on the circumstances that the alleged victim is faced with and the level of dangerousness the prosecutors believe exists.

False imprisonment is to confine or restrain a victim against his or her will and a conviction may result in up to 3 years in prison if charged as a felony and up to one year if charged as a misdemeanor. As you can see, with stakes at a high level, it is best higher a seasoned criminal defense attorney to defend your interests at every stage of the criminal proceedings.

Retain a San Fernando Valley Criminal Lawyer

Regardless of the crime you are facing, our Criminal Attorneys in Van Nuys or San Fernando, CA can help. With our combined 75 years of experience and our extensive skill, knowledge, and understanding of the criminal practice field, we are confident we can provide you with the best representation in these stressful times.

There are a number of defenses we can use such as duress; consent; false allegations; a parent’s right to discipline. Once we meet with you and obtain all of the details related to your case, we can then begin the process of resolving you matter in the best possible way. Contact the Hedding Law Firm for help.

Call us and we will sit down with you and go over all your charges and available options. Free face to face consultation.