Four Things You Need to Know About False Imprisonment

If you have been falsely imprisoned, it is important to quickly obtain the assistance of a skilled personal injury lawyer. It is also important to understand some important details about false imprisonment. This article will review four of the most important things that you should understand about false imprisonment claims.

What is False Imprisonment?

While you likely have heard the term, you are probably uncertain about what exactly this type of personal injury includes. New Jersey Statute 2C-13-3 defines false imprisonment as the act of knowingly restraining another person unlawfully in such a way that interferes with the other person’s liberty. Some of the most common examples of false imprisonment include restraining a person with rope or locking a person in a room. Threatening a person with violence if he or she escapes an area can also constitute this crime.

To establish that false imprisonment occurred, a person must demonstrate that several elements occurred including:

  • Confinement to which the person imprisoned did not consent,
  • That the person who imprisoned the victim performed the act intentionally,
  • That the person who was imprisoned knew that they were imprisoned, and
  • That the victim had no possible way of escape during the period of imprisonment.

Defenses to False Imprisonment Exist

New Jersey treats false imprisonment as a very serious offense. Law in New Jersey, however, states that if the person imprisoned is a minor and the person who performs the imprisonment is either the child’s legal guardian or relative, a defense to false imprisonment arises. The reason why this defense exists is that New Jersey recognizes that false imprisonment is sometimes used as a method of control over children.

How the Law Applies to Security Guards

Security guards in New Jersey are permitted to detain individuals who are suspect of shoplifting. To detain a person, however, security guards must:

  • Have probable cause that the individual shoplifted,
  • Not detain a person for an unreasonable amount of time, and
  • Not subject the person accused of shoplifting to unreasonable conditions including the application of undue force or roughness.

How False Imprisonment is Classified

It is important to understand that false imprisonment in New Jersey is classified as a disorderly persons offense. Because false imprisonment is classified as both a civil violation and a crime, the exact penalties that a person who commits false imprisonment will face depends on exactly how the offense occurred. In the most severe cases of false imprisonment, a person can end up facing a third-degree crime.

Speak with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one has been impacted by this type of situation, you deserve the option to pursue compensation for any resulting damages. Because there is a two-year statute of limitations in which to pursue a false imprisonment claim, you should not hesitate to obtain the assistance of a skilled accident attorney. Contact Ferrara & Gable today to obtain the assistance of skilled legal counsel.