In New Jersey, it is a crime to unlawfully imprison someone. Although unlawful imprisonment goes by the name “false imprisonment” in NJ, the terms are virtually interchangeable. A conviction for unlawful imprisonment is serious and will have long-lasting ripple effects that can impact your liberty and economic security. Be sure to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer in order to have your case properly handled.
What is Unlawful Imprisonment (False Imprisonment)?
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3, if you knowingly restrain another person in an unlawful manner and doing so interferes substantially with that person’s liberty, you can be convicted of false imprisonment. If the situation is severe enough, the charge may be elevated to kidnapping.
However, if the person you restrained was a child under the age of 18 and you were a relative or legal guardian of that child acting with the sole purpose of assuming control over that child, you will not be guilty. Likewise, if you acted based on a good faith belief that you had a duty to restrain the individual or your interference was not substantial enough to warrant a criminal conviction, then you might be able to avoid one.
Remember, mitigating factors may help lead to your charges being reduced. For example, the length of time that the person was held for, the nature and extent of the restraint, and your overall intention when you did the retraining could radically affect whether you get convicted or not. If you only detained the person for three minutes and you simply held onto the person’s wrist (opposed to locking him in a dark room for hours on end), you will likely have a relatively light sentence or be able to plea down to a lesser offense without much trouble.
Penalties and Fines
False imprisonment is a disorderly persons offense. If you are convicted, you could face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Although many think a disorderly persons offense is not a big deal, it is. The offense will give you a criminal record, requires an expungement to get off your record, will dramatically affect your ability to get (or keep) a job, and complicate your personal life.
Be sure to hire an experienced lawyer to help you avoid all of the negative fallout associated with a conviction for unlawful imprisonment in NJ.
Who Should I Contact?
If you or a loved one has been charged with unlawful imprisonment (false imprisonment in NJ), contact Adam H. Rosenblum of Rosenblum Law today. His team of New Jersey criminal defense attorneys will do what they can to protect your legal rights and fight to keep you out of prison. E-mail or call 888-815-3649 today.