Wrongful imprisonment is also known as false imprisonment where someone restrains another against their decision, and in many cases, there is the risk of being killed or injured.
In most cases, this is commonly a felony, and is considered an intentional tort.
Anyone who does restrict another person without their agreement can be found liable for this. In some jurisdictions though, the victim must not have a means to escape for it to be a false imprisonment charge. Along with that, acts of omission might also be a form of false imprisonment, such as failing to unlock doors and leaving a person trapped inside.
How is this an Intentional Tort?
While it is typically a crime, it also can be an intentional tort, so it can cause civil personal injury, and criminal charges too.
This typically must be a volitional action of confining someone without their consent, creating some kind of harm, and typically, this can vary depending on what kinds of harm is caused by this.
The act is wrongful in many ways, and typically, this is considered a felony if the court does find this to be false imprisonment, with charges of three years imprisonment.
Typically, this is a misdemeanor that does come with penalties of a year of imprisonment, a $1000 fine, or sometimes both, but this does depend on the background as well, and if this is a repeat offense, it can be more severe.
What are the Elements
While sitting in a cell may be considered wrongful imprisonment, it has nothing to do with going to jail, or the police.
Those who are guilty of it typically are dealing with unlawful confinement.
There are some elements that go into this, and they include the following:
- The words that are said or actions done are done to confine someone
- The person was confined for a bit
- The detention was considered unwilling and unlawful
- They are aware they’re being kept in one place
The last one is especially important. If the plaintiff knew that they were confined and not aware of the situation, the defendant won’t be guilty, so as long as you know that you’re dealing with false imprisonment, then you have a case.
Examples of this
This can include making threats and utilizing force to keep someone there. force is usually used, but it typically is not required for a false imprisonment charge.
For most cases, the plaintiff must be aware that they’re confined. For example, an employee locked by their boss and forced to work overtime is an example of this, since they aren’t allowed to leave.
But suppose the victim didn’t know that their door was locked. Maybe they were unaware of it. That’s not false imprisonment.
Typically, they also can include many different aspects, such as the following:
- Keeping possessions belonging to the plaintiff to make them stay here
- Medicating without their permission so they can’t leave
- Detaining them to question them without a warrant or allowance to do so
- Holding someone so they can’t move
- Grabbing someone so they’re unable to move
- Security guards detaining someone for a long period unlawfully
Typically, this can be a whole lot of different things, but if you do believe that you have a false imprisonment case, you should talk to a lawyer about this. They can let you know of what you can do, including the damages in the form of costs, property damage, time missed from work, and therapy costs, along with pain and suffering that you can get too.