In Florida, false imprisonment is a felony crime. False imprisonment is normally a third degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. However, the charge can become much more serious if the victim is under 13 years of age and the child is seriously injured or sexually abused.
In Florida, false imprisonment is defined as restraining another person against his/her will by force, threat or secretly confining him/her. This can cover a lot of different scenarios. Another important thing to note is that the false imprisonment does not need to involve a confined space, such as a locked room. Additionally, the false imprisonment does not need to take place over a long period of time. There is no set time limit for a false imprisonment crime to be complete.
In a recent case west of Jacksonville, Florida, a defendant was convicted of false imprisonment after he got into an argument with his girlfriend and ultimately knocked her to the floor and using his weight to pin her down.
The criminal defense lawyer moved to have the false imprisonment charges thrown out because he argued the defendant only pinned the victim down for a brief period of time. The court disagreed and allowed the false imprisonment conviction. The court noted that the crime of false imprisonment involves depriving the victim of freedom of movement for any length of time. The force used by the defendant does not need to be substantial; it just needs to be sufficient to restrain the victim against his/her will for any period of time.