False Imprisonment: Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Apr 22

Defining "False Imprisonment" And What It Legally Means


False imprisonment (also known as wrongful imprisonment) occurs when one person is wrongly arrested and imprisoned by another. False imprisonment may be the subject of a civil case. The detainee receives compensation for any injury or other damages sustained due to the incident in these types of cases. Your case's details are crucial, as they may mean the difference between three years in jail and life without parole. It's important to keep in mind, though, that just because you've been convicted doesn't mean you're guilty. An experienced Criminal Defense Attorney will defend you against overbearing prosecutors and ensure that you receive a fair outcome.


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In a nutshell, false imprisonment happens when someone (let's call them Person A) is held against their will by someone else (Person B). Furthermore, Person B is required to:

  • intend to keep the complainant in custody

  • do it without being able to prove that you have the legal authority to do so

False arrest is similar to false imprisonment, although there are several differences. A legal authority would almost always be involved in a false arrest argument, while false imprisonment may be committed by anyone, regardless of whether an arrest followed the imprisonment.


What does False Imprisonment (PC 236 PC) entail?


False imprisonment is illegal in California, according to Penal Code 236 PC. In general, Penal Code 236 PC refers to false imprisonment. In certain cases, some rules apply against false imprisonment. Penal Code 210.5 PC, for example, governs false imprisonment in the sense of escaping detention or capture.


False imprisonment is described in Penal Code 236 PC as the unlawful deprivation of another's personal liberty. This is a vague description that won't help you figure out whether you can contest a Penal Code 236 PC fee. Looking at the meaning the court would use to decide whether or not false imprisonment has occurred is even more helpful:

  • False imprisonment is the act of restraining, detaining, or confining another person without their permission, usually through the use of violence or threat.

  • Restraining, detaining, or confining – The word "false imprisonment" is perplexing since it implies that a breach of Penal Code 236 PC will only happen if someone is jailed or imprisoned. The reality is that false imprisonment can happen in a variety of places and by a variety of methods. In reality, a Penal Code 236 PC violation does not require the victim to be physically restrained or confined. All they have to do is imagine themselves being imprisoned or confined.