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False imprisonment is commonly viewed as a lesser offense to kidnapping, but it is still an extremely serious charge under Florida law. Anyone who has been charged or is under investigation for false imprisonment should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Never speak to law enforcement without a lawyer present, as detectives are trained to elicit statements from unrepresented suspects. Even seemingly innocent statements can result in additional charges being filed, or information that may result in a judge signing off on a search and seizure warrant. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in false imprisonment charges. He has successfully represented numerous clients charged with false imprisonment and other felony offenses in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County. Benjamin is also an experienced Treasure Coast attorney for clients who are facing charges in Martin and St. Lucie County. He is available 7 days a week for a free consultation at (954) 543-0305, and has flexible meeting hours at his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach office locations. Contact Benjamin today to learn what defenses may be available to you, and to start fighting back against the state.
The legal definition of false imprisonment is similar to that of kidnapping, but without certain aggravating factors. It requires the state to prove that the defendant restrained or confined a person against his or her will through force, threat or abduction and without legal authority. Force and threats are not required in all cases, and this is especially true when the victim is a minor. The state does not have to prove the defendant committed the act with the intent in injure the victim or profit off of the confinement, and there is no requirement that the victim suffered any type of injury. False imprisonment is a third-degree felony under Florida law with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. In addition to jail time a defendant may face the possibility of receiving a permanent felony conviction and being required to register is a sex offender in cases involving minor victims. If the defendant commits another aggravated felony such as sexual battery, aggravated child abuse or human trafficking upon the victim during the course of the confinement, the charge will be elevated to a first-degree felony with a penalty of up to life imprisonment.
False imprisonment charges are common in domestic violence situations, and unfortunately is routinely supported by no evidence other than a statement. There is no time requirement in false imprisonment cases, and a victim claiming her or she was confined for mere minutes could result in charges. Police frequently charge defendants without any physical evidence or objective proof, but a lawyer may be able to convince the state not to file formal charges. Benjamin Herbst understands that some false imprisonment charges can be motivated by spite or revenge and extremely unjust, and he will do whatever it takes to fight for a dismissal. Benjamin is a South Florida false imprisonment lawyer with extensive experience defending clients in domestic violence situations. He has won numerous jury trials across South Florida, and is standing by to offer a free consultation about your case. Benjamin provides all clients with his cell phone number and always keeps them informed and up to date with the progress of the case. If you have been charged with false imprisonment in the Tri-County area or along the Treasure Coast contact Benjamin today at (954) 543-0305.