There are a few different ways that false imprisonment can take place. Overall, this situation means that an individual is being held against their will and without any legal justification for them to be detained. Their rights are being violated as a result of this scenario.
For example, a citizen can be charged with false imprisonment if they commit a crime that causes others to remain in the location of the crime. A common example of this is a bank robbery. A bank robber may tell everyone in the bank at the time to lie down on the floor and wait until they leave. Certainly, many other crimes are also being committed at the same time, but every one of these individuals could also claim that they have been falsely imprisoned.
Could the police commit false imprisonment?
Yes, even law enforcement officers can be guilty of false imprisonment. This sometimes happens after a false arrest. There are three main elements that need to be proven to demonstrate that false imprisonment has occurred. The first is that the detention was willful and done on purpose. The second element is that the person who is being detained did not give their consent to those conditions. The third and final condition is that the situation was unlawful.
So, an example of this could be if a police officer pulls you over without reasonable suspicion. During the traffic stop, you believe that the officer has planted illegal drugs in your car. They then “find” these drugs and arrest you. Your rights were first violated when you were illegally pulled over in your vehicle, and they were then violated again when you were framed for the crime. This could be both a false arrest and false imprisonment once you are taken into custody.
Of course, it’s very frustrating to find yourself in a situation like this, where the public servants who are supposed to protect and serve are the ones who are actively violating your rights. Make sure you know about all the defense options you have and the steps you need to take moving forward if you need to hold law enforcement officers – or anyone else – accountable for false imprisonment. Seeking legal guidance is likely a necessary first step.