A Weld County woman is serving three years in prison for the False Imprisonment (C.R.S. 18-3-303) of her 14 year old son. Around October of last year (2011), the story came out about this Erie, Colorado woman that kept her son locked in a trailer, letting him out three times a day, and feeding him only once a day. I don't know the details and I am never convinced that the news will print the whole story, but either way, this one falls into the extreme category. It is easier to get charged with this crime than doing what the Weld County woman is reported to have done.
The crime of False Imprisonment is charged in Douglas, Arapahoe, or Jefferson County when someone knowingly confines or detains another person without their consent and without the legal authority to do so. It can be charged as a class 2 misdemeanor or a class 5 felony, depending if force is used or threatened, and if the victim is detained longer than twelve hours. In the case of a felony, both must apply.
Not long ago, I wrote a blog about a Denver man who was charged with Criminal Mischief (C.R.S. 18-4-501). He was also charged in the same incident with misdemeanor False Imprisonment because he blocked a door while his girlfriend was trying to exit the building. This is the more common scenario where this crime is charged. Domestic Violence situations, where one party does not want an argument to end, can often result in misdemeanor charges being filed.
There are a couple of points I want to make about the situations above. First, if you are charged with misdemeanor or felony False Imprisonment, you need someone on your side that is willing to fight for you. Just because someone has accused you of this crime, does not make it true. Secondly, when a person has a criminal record showing misdemeanor charges for this crime, anyone, like a potential employer, will not dig deeper to find out the details of the crime. They will remember the high profile cases and assume the worst about you. This is why you need an experienced lawyer at your side when you stand before a judge or jury.
We have great success working with the District Attorney's Offices in Denver, Adams, and Arapahoe County, on False Imprisonment cases in Colorado. So if you or someone you care about has been charged with this crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.