“False imprisonment” is when a person is restrained against their own will by another without any legal justification. The person must be confined in a bounded area, without any reasonable means of escape. For example, if a person unlawfully prevents another from leaving their vehicle, it may amount to false imprisonment.
False imprisonment of a minor is treated very seriously. This is due to concerns with related problems such as kidnapping or parental kidnapping. The required elements of proof for false imprisonment of a minor are essentially the same as in other false imprisonment charges.
However, there are some circumstances in which the detention of a child is justified. For example, it may be necessary to restrain the minor in order to protect them from potential violence.
False imprisonment of a minor under the age of 17 years does NOT occur if the following conditions are met:
- The actor is related to the child, or has obtained the consent of the child’s parent, guardian, or persons responsible for supervising the child’s welfare
- The actor’s only purpose is to assume control of the child; and
- The child remains within the boundaries of the state
Additionally, the person assuming control of the child must not be acting with any criminal or malicious intent. If you are in the position where you need to detain a minor, you should make sure that you are acting within the boundaries of the law so as to avoid liability.
False imprisonment of a minor is a serious issue- any questionable detentions will be subject to investigation by authorities. Laws regulating the safety and well-being of children are always enforced very strictly. Therefore, if you are involved in such charges, you should contact a criminal lawyer for advice and possible representation in court. The expertise of an attorney may be required when defending against false imprisonment charges.