False imprisonment charges in Jefferson County, Colorado involve acts of unlawfully detaining someone. When this is done without consent, law enforcement is quick to charge. Something as simple as blocking an exit so that a person can't leave a room can lead to criminal ramifications. False imprisonment is closely related to kidnapping but doesn't involve moving the victim from one location to another. Domestic violence enhancements aren't uncommon if someone is unlawfully confined by a current or former significant other. Anyone facing an allegation of false imprisonment should connect with a skilled defense attorney as soon as they're able.
Jefferson County False Imprisonment Law
Jefferson County's false imprisonment law prohibits confining another person unlawfully. CRS 18-3-303 describes the specific elements of false imprisonment in the state of Colorado. You commit this offense in Lakewood, Golden, or Arvada if you:
- knowingly confine or detain someone,
- without their consent,
- AND without proper legal authority
How you go about confining someone and the length you do so are large determining factors when it comes to punishment. If the alleged victim gives their consent to being confined or detained or is free to leave, false imprisonment doesn't apply.
When Does False Imprisonment Become a Felony in Colorado?
Each false imprisonment case is unique. Therefore, outcomes don't always look alike. False imprisonment is at minimum a class 2 misdemeanor throughout Jefferson County. A conviction can lead to:
- 3 - 12 months in county jail,
- fines of $250 - $1,000
When a domestic violence enhancement applies, a mandatory arrest and protection order also result. If force or threats are used to detain someone or the confinement lasts for 12+ hours, false imprisonment becomes a class 5 felony. Defendants in these cases are looking at up to 3 years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines.
What Do I Do If I'm Charged with False Imprisonment?
For starters, don't panic. Next, exercise your right to remain silent when police start asking questions. Statements you provide typically hurt your case and negatively impact the outcome. Instead, contact our office for a free, confidential consultation. One of our seasoned defense attorneys will carefully analyze your situation and recommend next steps in your defense. Perhaps the alleged victim consented, they were free to go, or you never used threats or force. We offer same-day jail visits, competitive fees, and flexible payment options so that strategic, proven representation is a reality in these uncertain times.
If you or someone you know has been charged with false imprisonment, proceed carefully. Connect with an experienced criminal defense attorney at Sawyer Legal Group, LLC at 303-830-0880. Don't talk to the police - talk to us.
Photo by Wade Lambert