False imprisonment occurs when a person intentionally and without legal authority restricts another person’s ability to move freely. Under Colorado law, false imprisonment is a severe criminal offense and it’s classified as a felony.
In Colorado, a felony is the most serious crime an individual can be charged with. Class 5 felonies such as false imprisonment carry harsh penalties which can have lifelong consequences. With incarceration and expensive fines, the defendant’s present and future freedom can easily be at stake.
If you or someone you know has been arrested with false imprisonment, it’s important to seek the guidance of a skilled criminal defense attorney in Denver as soon as possible. This is where Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. steps in to help.
Denver False Imprisonment Attorney
If you have been charged and arrested with false imprisonment, your future is at stake. False imprisonment charges can lead to steep fines and even imprisonment. That is why it’s important to take the next step and hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer that can fight aggressively on your behalf.
Denver false imprisonment attorney Matthew A. Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. has spent hundreds of hours developing strong defenses for individuals struggling with domestic violence crimes. Set up your first consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. at (303) 725-0017. Mr. Martin serves clients throughout the Denver, CO area including nearby counties such as Jefferson County, Boulder County, Adams County, Arapahoe County, Douglas County, and Broomfield County.
- False Imprisonment Charges in Colorado
- What’s the Difference Between False Imprisonment and Kidnapping?
- Second Degree Kidnapping in Colorado
- Defenses for False Imprisonment
- Statute of Limitations
- Additional Resources for False Imprisonment
According to Colorado Revised Statutes 18-3-303, an individual commits false imprisonment if he or she knowingly confines or detains another person without their consent and proper legal authority. The crime is classified as a class 2 misdemeanor upon conviction. However, it is a class 5 felony if the defendant uses force or threat of force to confine or detain the other person for 12 hours or longer. False imprisonment is also classified as a class 5 felony if:
- The defendant confines or detains another person under the age of 18 in a locked or barricaded room under circumstances that cause bodily injury or serious emotional distress; or
- The defendant confines or detains another person under the age of 18 by means of tying, caging, chaining, or using similar physical restraints to restrict that person’s freedom of movement under circumstances that cause bodily injury or serious emotional distress
In Colorado, a class 2 misdemeanor is punishable by 3 to 12 months in county jail and $250 to $1,000 in fines while a class 5 felony is punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
Most people believe that kidnapping and false imprisonment are the same crime. However, that is not the case under Colorado law. Kidnapping and false imprisonment are two separate crimes with distinctive penalties.
For the crime false imprisonment, the victim is detained and kept in one place against their will. A kidnapping charge, on the other hand, requires movement from the victim. This means that the defendant must forcibly seize and move the individual in order to travel from one place to another for the crime to be considered kidnapping.
Kidnapping is classified into two categories: first degree kidnapping and second-degree kidnapping. Colorado Revised Statutes 18-3-301 states that a person can be charged with first degree kidnapping if he or she:
- Seizes with force and carries a person from one place to another; or
- Imprisons or forcibly secretes a person; or
- Persuades a person to travel from one place to another
First degree kidnapping is classified as a class 1 felony if the individual kidnapped suffered bodily injury. If he or she was set free unharmed prior to the defendant’s conviction, the defendant can be charged with a class 2 felony.
According to Colorado Revised Statutes 18-3-302, second degree kidnapping is a criminal offense. As defined in the statute, an individual may be charged with second degree kidnapping if he or she knowingly seizes and carries any person from one place to another, without their consent and without lawful justification. Charges also apply if the defendant takes or entices another individual’s child who is under eighteen years of age. For the court to assign a conviction, the defendant must be intentional about concealing the child from his guardian or selling, trading, or bartering the minor.
Penalties for second degree kidnapping in Colorado can be harsh. If the defendant kidnaps an individual under these circumstances, the offense is categorized as a class 4 felony. However, the crime can be classified as a class 3 felony if the kidnapper utilizes a deadly weapon or the act is accompanied with an intent to sell, trade, or barter the victim. Second degree kidnapping is classified as a class 2 felony if the individual kidnapped is a victim of robbery or sexual offense during the kidnapping.
Those accused of false imprisonment may have valid reasons for the actions that led to the charge. Colorado law provides several defenses that justify the use of force. Defenses do not attempt to say that the crime did not occur but instead provide an excusable reason for why it did.
The first defense includes proof that a special relationship between two individuals allows one person to confine the other. These special relationships include:
- Parent, guardian, teacher, or a person entrusted to care for or supervise a child;
- An authorized official of a jail, correctional institution, or prison;
- Personnel on common carriers, such as airplanes, railcars, ships, and taxi services;
- Any person attempting to prevent another’s suicide attempt or self-harm; and
- Physician, nurse practitioner, or a member of their team.
Additional defenses may be available as well, including:
- Consent: the person confined consented to confinement;
- Mistaken identity: the accused was not the person who confined the alleged victim;
- Defense of self or others: the accused confined the person but did so to prevent serious bodily harm or death to self or another person.
Prosecutors must prove all elements of a false imprisonment claim. Therefore, in addition to the above defenses, a criminal defense attorney can create a strong defense by finding holes in the prosecution’s ability to prove those elements.
A statute of limitation refers to the time frame a prosecuting attorney can charge someone with a crime. Usually, the time period starts when the offense allegedly occurred. Statutes of limitations vary depending on the crime and whether it is charged as a felony or misdemeanor.
If charged as a misdemeanor, a prosecuting attorney has 18 months from the date of the offense to file the charge. If charged as a felony, a prosecuting attorney has three years from the date of the offense to the charge.
Colorado Department of Human Services: Domestic Violence Program – Click the link to visit the official website for the Department of Human Services. The site offers information about Colorado’s Domestic Violence Program (DPV). Access the page to find a community-based domestic violence program near you.
Colorado Revised Statutes: False Imprisonment – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to read about the state’s current laws for false imprisonment. The site lists how the crime is penalized and other valuable information.
Colorado False Imprisonment Attorney | Denver, CO
If you or someone you know has been charged with false imprisonment, you need a committed and experienced criminal defense attorney that will protect your rights. Domestic violence accusations could impact both your personal and professional significantly. To avoid the risk of jeopardizing your future, seek the skilled legal counsel of Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C..
Criminal defense lawyer Matthew A. Martin at Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. carries over 28 years of experience defending individuals accused of domestic violence charges such as false imprisonment. Hiring him will give you a significant advantage in the courtroom. To schedule a free, initial consultation today, call (303) 725-0017.
Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C. serves clients in Denver, CO and surrounding counties including Douglas County, Jefferson County, Adams County, Arapahoe County, and Broomfield County.