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Las Vegas False Imprisonment Defense Attorney

Last Modified: December 18, 2023

False Imprisonment Defense Attorney In Las Vegas, NV

Penalized as a violent crime with both misdemeanor and felony punishments, false imprisonment is serious. If you find yourself facing any charges of this nature, do not hesitate to reach out for legal counsel from Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers today. With an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, you can have confidence that your rights will be defended in court.

Our Las Vegas false imprisonment defense attorney is an expert in defending clients that have been accused of violent crimes, such as domestic violence and false imprisonment under NRS § 200.460. We have a wealth of experience in this area and work diligently to ensure our clients receive fair representation before the court. Contact our office today for a consultation and to learn more about how we can help you through such a difficult time in your life.

What Is False Imprisonment?

According to NRS 200.460, unlawful restraint of another person’s liberty is known as false imprisonment and can take many forms; from restriction in a house, car, or any other environment without proper legal authorization. In essence, it is the act of depriving someone of their freedom through containment.

1. False imprisonment is an unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another, and consists in confinement or detention without sufficient legal authority.

2. A person convicted of false imprisonment shall pay all damages sustained by the person so imprisoned, and, except as otherwise provided in this section, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

3. Unless a greater penalty is provided pursuant to subsection 4, if the false imprisonment is committed:

(a) By a prisoner in a penal institution without a deadly weapon; or

(b) By any other person with the use of a deadly weapon,

the person convicted of such a false imprisonment is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 6 years.

4. Unless a greater penalty is provided pursuant to subsection 5, if the false imprisonment is committed by using the person so imprisoned as a shield or to avoid arrest, the person convicted of such a false imprisonment is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 15 years.

5. If the false imprisonment is committed by a prisoner who is in lawful custody or confinement with the use of a deadly weapon, the person convicted of such a false imprisonment is guilty of a category B felony and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for a minimum term of not less than 1 year and a maximum term of not more than 20 years.

Statutory Elements Of False Imprisonment

According to Nevada’s Revised Statute NRS § 200.460, false imprisonment has the following components:

  • An unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another; and
  • Consists in confinement or detention;
  • Without sufficient legal authority.

Under NRS § 200.460(2), if a person is found guilty of false imprisonment, they are obliged to compensate for all injury incurred by the victim due to the wrongful confinement. These charges can be especially serious and require an experienced false imprisonment defense attorney in your corner.

In Nevada, false imprisonment is frequently included in the charge of kidnapping. As a result, during a trial for kidnapping, the court will usually provide instructions to explain that false imprisonment can be seen as an offense with less serious repercussions than kidnapping itself.

Penalties For False Imprisonment Charges In Nevada

According to NRS § 200.460(3), false imprisonment is typically charged as a gross misdemeanor; however, stiffer penalties will apply if the crime of false imprisonment is committed under particular circumstances.

  • By a prisoner in a penal institution without a deadly weapon; or
  • By any other person with the use of a deadly weapon.

If the aggravated circumstances of NRS § 200.460(3) are fulfilled, then the offense is classified as a category B felony with potential sentencing from one to six years behind bars.

NRS § 200.460(4) provides increased punishments if a person uses another individual as a human shield while carrying out the offense of false imprisonment. If this occurs, they will be convicted of category B felony and could face up to 15 years in prison as per Nevada state law.

Under NRS § 200.460(5) if false imprisonment is committed “by a prisoner who is in the lawful custody or confinement with the use of a deadly weapon, the person convicted of such a false imprisonment is guilty of a category B felony….” Ultimately, false imprisonment charges are serious and can be punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison. If you’re facing charges for a violent crime in Nevada, contact our Las Vegas false imprisonment defense lawyer as soon as possible.

False Imprisonment In Civil Cases

In civil cases, if a defendant deliberately confines an individual within established limits and the person is made aware of this confinement and suffers damage as a result, then said defendant may be held liable for false imprisonment.

When it comes to wrongful imprisonment, one of the primary allegations is false arrest. It’s at this point that a claimant needs to prove that the actor acted without authority and carried out an unlawful arrest. As per court rulings, when someone’s freedom has been restricted because of a bogus detainment, they are said to have experienced false imprisonment due to a fake capture “under the probable imminence of force without any legal cause or justification.” Garton v. City of Reno, 102 Nev. 313, 314–15, 720 P.2d 1227, 1228 (1986).

A perfect example of this is in the Hernandez v. City of Reno case where the Nevada Supreme Court held that “an actor is subject to liability to another for false imprisonment ‘if (a) he acts intending to confine the other or a third person within boundaries fixed by the actor, and (b) his act directly or indirectly results in such a confinement of the other, and (c) the other is conscious of the confinement or is harmed by it.’ ”

False imprisonment does not occur when someone complies with verbal direction without the use of any force or threats. In Lerner Shops v. Marin, it was clarified that fear of potential job loss or prosecution for theft is insufficient as it cannot be considered a form of force or threat required to establish false imprisonment (NRS 200.460(1)). Roberts v. Coleman, 228 Or. 286, 365 P.2d 79 (1961).

Additionally, in Marschall v. City of Carson, 86 Nev. 107, 110, 464 P.2d 494, 497 (1970) the court stated that to prove false imprisonment charges, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he was “restrained of his liberty under the probable imminence of force without any legal cause or justification, therefore.”

Defenses To False Imprisonment Charges In Nevada

In order to battle false imprisonment charges, whether in Las Vegas or another area of Nevada, exploring some common defenses may be beneficial. Four potential tactics include:

  1. Self-defense
  2. Consent
  3. Shopkeeper’s privilege
  4. Parental rights

Self-Defense

Nevada’s self-defense laws allow individuals to use reasonable force to protect themselves or others against imminent harm. This means that if someone threatens you with violence, you may use a proportionate amount of force to defend yourself.

The state of Nevada has a “Stand Your Ground” law, which means that you have no duty to retreat from a dangerous situation before using force in self-defense. However, this law does not give you the right to use excessive force in self-defense. The amount of force used must be reasonable and proportional to the threat faced.

It’s important to note that these laws can be complex and that the specific circumstances of each situation determine the legality of the use of self-defense. It’s always best to consult with a qualified Las Vegas false imprisonment defense attorney if you have questions about self-defense in Nevada.

Consent

The only way you can be found guilty of unlawful imprisonment is if the victim was confined against their will. If the alleged victim consented – even reluctantly – to being restrained, then there is no crime committed. To prove consent in court, video or audio recordings, written communications such as text messages and emails, and eyewitness testimonies are helpful pieces of evidence that can demonstrate agreement for confinement.

Shopkeeper’s Privilege

If merchants have good reason to suspect theft, they can take it upon themselves to detain the alleged culprit for a reasonable amount of time in order to investigate further. There is no criminal violation if appropriate grounds are present and shopkeepers choose to exercise their privilege as outlined in NRS 597.850. Gain more knowledge on this so-called “shopkeeper’s privilege” by researching NRS 200.460.

Parental Rights

As a parent, you are well within your rights to implement disciplinary measures such as “grounding” or “timeouts” that limit the movements of your children. These methods won’t cause any physical harm or mental distress and can be used without fear of legal repercussions. If physical or mental harm can be proven, you may also face child abuse and neglect charges.

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Frequently Asked Questions

When Is False Imprisonment Not A Crime?

Recognizing that there are times when detaining another person is permissible, Nevada law outlines several instances in which confinement or restraint may be considered legal. Generally speaking, if the following criteria are met then it is not a criminal act to detain someone:

  • The alleged victim actually agrees to the loss of liberty.
  • The accused perpetrator resorts to restraint or confinement while lawfully engaging in self-defense.
  • The case involves a parent who imposes restrictions as a disciplinary measure while ensuring that this form of punishment causes no harm to the child.

In the event of a false imprisonment charge, exceptions can provide appropriate protection. However, for those seeking to evade conviction, they must either prove there was no such arrest or provide justification for what happened.

Can False Imprisonment Charges Be Sealed From Your Record?

After an NRS 200.460 gross misdemeanor conviction, your record can be sealed two years after the conclusion of your case. Unfortunately, Nevada law is less specified when it comes to felony convictions and sealing records.

In Nevada, Class B felonies such as felony false imprisonment typically have a mandatory waiting period of five years before the record can be sealed. However, given that this crime is categorized as a “crime of violence,” the wait time increases to ten years after the completion of your case.

The exact waiting period for sealing criminal records in Nevada has yet to be determined at this time, and unfortunately, any unlawful imprisonment where the victim is a minor (under 18) cannot be sealed. On the other hand, NRS 200.460 charges that have been dismissed can immediately begin their journey towards being sealed should you wish to pursue it. To learn more about potentially sealing your criminal record, contact our Las Vegas false imprisonment defense attorney today.

Can I Sue The Police For Unlawful Detention?

Police officers have the authority to briefly detain anyone they possess sound reasoning for believing is linked with illegal activity. This “reasonable suspicion” threshold is lower than “probable cause,” which must be established before an arrest can be lawfully made.

Commonly known as a “Terry stop” or “stop-and-frisk,” these limited detentions based on reasonable suspicion allow an officer to frisk the outer clothing of an individual. However, if you are no longer able to leave freely after entering into this consensual engagement with a police officer then it is legally recognized as a Terry Stop in Nevada which must not exceed 60 minutes.

Contact Our Las Vegas False Imprisonment Attorney Today

When the state of Nevada convicts you for false imprisonment, the repercussions may reach far beyond jail time and fines. You’ll be expected to pay restitution to any victims that have suffered physical or emotional harm due to your actions. Additionally, even after serving out your sentence, a felony conviction can cause long-lasting damage – such as not being able to vote or work in certain jobs – on top of making it more difficult to gain access to college and purchase a home.

Don’t let false imprisonment charges take away your freedom. Contact our skilled Las Vegas false imprisonment defense attorney at Spartacus Criminal Defense Lawyers for assistance in fighting these serious accusations. Our criminal defense legal team can help reduce or drop your charges, and if it should it come to that point, we have the confidence and ability to fight for you in a court of law as well. Don’t wait, contact our office today for a consultation and learn more about how we can help you secure the best possible outcome in your case.

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