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Tampa Attorney for False Imprisonment Charges

Under Florida law, false imprisonment is a serious felony offense. False imprisonment is defined as using force, a threat of force, or acted secretly to imprison, abduct or confine another person against his or her will. This crime of violence is a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

If you have been arrested for false imprisonment in Tampa, Hillsborough County, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. Call 813-250-0500 to discuss your case.

We represent clients in Hillsborough County, St. Petersburg or Clearwater, Pinellas County, Bartow, Polk County, and New Port Richey or Dade City, Pasco County, FL. We can begin your defense today.

Elements of False Imprisonment under Statute 787.02

Florida's False Imprisonment statute contains the following elements which must be proven at trial beyond all reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant acted secretly using force or the threat of force to restrain, imprison, confine, or abduct another person against his or her will.
  • The defendant had no lawful authority to commit the act.

In those false imprisonment cases in Florida that involve a child under the age of 13 years old, it is a defense to the crime that the confinement was with the approval or consent of the child's legal guardian or parent.

Lesser Included Offenses to False Imprisonment

The Florida courts have determined that certain lesser offenses exist under the false imprisonment statute including:

  • attempted false imprisonment under Florida Statute Section 777.04(1),
  • battery under Florida Statute Section 784.03, and
  • assault under Florida Statute Section 784.011.

Additionally, false imprison is a necessary included lesser offense of the more serious crime of kidnapping under Florida Statute Section 787.01.

False Imprisonment Against a Child is Punishable by Life

Under certain circumstances, any act of false imprisonment committed against a child is punishable by life in prison as a first degree felony.

The enhanced penalties apply if the crime is allegedly committed against a child under the age of 13 years old when during the course of the false imprisonment the defendant commits one of the following offenses:

  • aggravated child abuse as defined under Florida Statute Section 827.03;
  • exploitation of a child or allowing a child to be exploited under Florida Statute Section 450.151
  • lewd or lascivious conduct,
  • lewd or lascivious battery,
  • lewd or lascivious exhibition,
  • lewd or lascivious molestation,
  • sexual battery as defined in Chapter 794; or
  • a crime of prostitution upon a child under Florida Statute Section 796.03 or 796.04;

Finding a Tampa Attorney for a False Imprisonment Charge

If you have been charged with False Imprisonment under Florida law, it is important to find an experienced and aggressive Tampa criminal defense attorney to represent you at every stage of the case. After the arrest, a prosecutor with the State Attorney's Office will take only 21 days to make a filing decision.

Although the prosecutor making the filing decision will attempt to talk to all of the witnesses to the alleged offense, talk with the alleged victim and review the police reports, a criminal defense attorney is often in the best position to present the prosecutor with additional background information and exculpatory or favorable evidence.

Call an attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss your arrest for false imprisonment under Florida law throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, New Port Richey, Dade City, Bartow or Bradenton about possible defenses to fight this serious felony charge. Call 813-250-0500 to speak with an attorney about the facts and circumstances of your case today.

This article was last updated by on Friday, October 31, 2014.