When a person holds another person captive against their will without proper authority, it is called false imprisonment. Kidnapping is the best-known type of false imprisonment and it is a serious criminal offense that carries heavy charges for people who are convicted.
However, most people don’t know that there are many types of false imprisonment cases and that aside from criminal charges, victims of false imprisonment can also file their case in civil court, and if they win, receive compensation for the harm they suffered. If you have been the victim of false imprisonment, it is recommended that you contact a criminal defense attorney in your area for assistance.
Penalties for false imprisonment
False imprisonment is classified by Texas penal code 20.02. There are four elements that must be met in order for a crime to be considered false imprisonment. These four elements include:
- The intentional confinement of the victim.
- The victim is imprisoned or confined against their consent and without lawful authority.
- The victim is aware they are imprisoned.
- The victim does not know how or if it is possible to escape.
Depending on the particular nature of the crime, false imprisonment can be classified as a misdemeanor or felony. Some of the factors that are considered to determine whether the crime is classified as a misdemeanor or felony include things like weapons, the use of force, and the duration of time the person was held against their will.
For misdemeanor false imprisonment charges, the possible punishment can be up to one year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. Felony charges are much more severe and can carry up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
Statute of limitations on false imprisonment
Victims of false imprisonment only have a certain amount of time to file criminal charges. This is known as the statute of limitations, and in the state of Texas, it is two years after the crime was committed for a misdemeanor and three years if the false imprisonment was a felony. Therefore, it’s important not to delay in filing charges if you were a victim of false imprisonment.
False imprisonment attorneys in Texas
No one should ever be held against their will by another person. At the Law Office of Andrew Williams, we take pride in fighting for clients who have been wronged by the acts of others. Kingwood criminal defense attorney Andrew Williams, board certified attorney certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Criminal Defense, focuses exclusively on criminal law and understands the intricacies of the Texas legal system and how to get clients the results they deserve. If you or a loved one has been harmed by false imprisonment, give us a call today at 281-358-9111 or contact us online.