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What are the Differences Between Kidnapping and False Imprisonment

What are the Differences Between Kidnapping and False Imprisonment

Although "kidnapping" and "false imprisonment" may sound similar, they are considered separate crimes under California law.


Kidnapping is a felony offense and refers to the taking away, or movement of another person against their will by force or any other means of instilling fear in the victim. In California, the punishment for a conviction of kidnapping can be anywhere from three to eight years in prison. If the victim is under the age of 14, you may be imprisoned for up to 11 years. Further, if the kidnapping caused great bodily harm, or if the kidnapping was carried out for the purpose of another crime (rape, robbery, ransom collection, etc.); the punishment may be life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

False Imprisonment

False imprisonment is defined as intentionally detaining or confining someone against their will. False imprisonment may be charges as either a misdemeanor of felony depending on the specific facts of the case. It is considered to be felony false imprisonment if force, threats or intimidation were used to accomplish the detention. The penalty for a felony false imprisonment conviction is three years in state prison. If it is a misdemeanor false imprisonment conviction, the maximum sentence is one year in the county jail.

If you or someone you know has been charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment, contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, Robert M. Bernstein for a free consultation today.


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