Unlawful Imprisonment

Charged with Unlawful Imprisonment

Unlawful Imprisonment is a crime that often gets charged in domestic violence situations in Arizona.  Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1303, unlawful imprisonment is committed by knowingly restraining another person.  Restraint doesn’t require an actual physical hold, but rather is broadly defined as restricting another person’s movements without consent, without legal authority, and in a manner, which interferes substantially with that person’s liberty.  If the restraint was done to either a child less than 18 years old, an incompetent person without their lawful custodian’s acquiescence, or with physical force, intimidation, or deception, then it is presumed to be done without consent.

Defenses to Unlawful Imprisonment

Under Arizona law, this means that simply standing in a doorway blocking an exit could constitute Unlawful Imprisonment.

There are two statutory defenses provided for Unlawful Imprisonment:

  • The restraint was accomplished by a peace officer or detention officer acting in good faith in the lawful performance of their duty; or
  • The defendant is a relative of the person being restrained and their sole intent was to assume lawful custody of that person and the restraint was accomplished without injury

Consequences to being charged with Unlawful Imprisonment

Unlawful Imprisonment is a serious crime that is punished severely.  It is a Class 6 Felony, unless the victim is released voluntarily by the defendant without physical injury in a safe place before arrest, in which case it is a Class 1 Misdemeanor.

A Class 6 Felony provides for 4 months to 2 years of imprisonment, up to 3 years of probation, and a maximum fine of $150,000.  A felony conviction leads to a loss of civil rights, including the right to bear arms.

A Class 1 Misdemeanor has a maximum punishment of 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and up to 3 years of probation.

Neither a Class 1 Misdemeanor nor a Class 6 Felony can be removed from your record, and conviction will lead to a criminal record that can lead to difficulties finding work, housing, loans, licenses, and more.

Contact an Experienced Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Do not face a charge of Unlawful Imprisonment.  A highly skilled and aggressive attorney on your side can make all the difference in getting you the best possible result in your case.  The attorneys at AZ Defenders have decades of experience in handling charges such as this one and can help you.  Call today at 480-456-6400 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation for your Unlawful Imprisonment charge today.

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