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Unlawful Imprisonment In The Second Degree

When someone intentionally restrains another person or restricts their movement without legal authority, a valid reason, or consent, they are guilty of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree. In some states, it’s referred to as false imprisonment, but in New York, the term is “unlawful imprisonment.” If a victim is placed in a life-threatening situation, the crime is bumped up to the first degree, which is a felony.

Unlawful imprisonment can happen even if someone is restrained for a very short time. If the duration lasts longer than 12 hours, this can lead to more serious charges being filed.

New York Unlawful Imprisonment In The Second Degree Lawyer

If you have been accused of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, reach out to Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today. Attorney Stephanie Selloni is a proficient and skillful criminal defense attorney who has been practicing criminal law for years. She understands that the harsh penalties of unlawful imprisonment and the conviction on a criminal record can ruin one’s reputation.

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents clients from Garden City, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, or anywhere else in Nassau County or Suffolk County. To schedule your first consultation, call (516) 972-1212 today.

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Information Center

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Kidnapping Vs. Unlawful Imprisonment

Kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment are closely related. Although most individuals are aware of the kind of behavior that comprise both these crimes, they might not be aware of the wide range of situations in which one might commit an act that could be classified as either.

  • Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree: The lowest level offense under these subsections is unlawful imprisonment in the second degree. This is a class A misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail sentence of one year. When someone “restrains another person,” they are guilty of this crime.
  • Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree: This is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison. When someone “restricts another person under circumstances that expose that person to a risk of serious physical injury,” they are guilty of this crime.
  • Kidnapping in the second degree: This is a violent class B felony that carries a maximum 25-year prison sentence. The mandatory minimum sentence for someone who has never been convicted of a crime is five years. A person who “abducts another person” is guilty of second-degree kidnapping.
  • Kidnapping in the first degree: This is one of the most serious ones in the New York penal code. An individual could be given a life sentence if found guilty.

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Elements Of Second-Degree Unlawful Imprisonment

There are a couple of elements that must occur for someone to be charged with unlawful imprisonment. The act must be both:

  1. Intentional: Imprisonment is the intentional limitation or restriction of another person’s freedom without the victim’s consent. Even though physical restraint is not always required, the victim can be imprisoned whenever it happens. Unlawful imprisonment is possible if someone threatens to harm a victim if they try to leave. If they use coercion or deception to restrain another person, then they have committed false imprisonment.
  2. Nonconsensual:  Only when the victim does not consent to the restraint can there be false imprisonment. Adults can give consent by voluntarily remaining in the situation, but children and those who are legally incapable, such as adults with disabilities, cannot. The parent or guardian of the legally incapacitated person must give their permission before the legally incapacitated person can be restrained.

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Lawful Justification

When someone is restrained without their consent, it is not always considered to be false imprisonment. Business owners or store owners can detain someone they suspect of stealing merchandise. Store owners are unable to simply restrain customers, though. The merchant must have evidence that the individual has stolen or is about to steal something.

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Use Of Force

It is not necessary to show that force or the threat of force was ever used to be found guilty of unlawful imprisonment. However, using force or threatening to use force to restrain the victim frequently results in more serious charges or harsher punishments.

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Sentencing For Second-Degree Unlawful Imprisonment

Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. The maximum sentence for this crime is one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

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Possible Defenses To Second-Degree Unlawful Imprisonment

To be found guilty of unlawful imprisonment, the victim must provide evidence of the following:

  • They didn’t agree to the detention;
  • There was no valid reason to hold the person in custody;
  • The defendant intended to limit the subject’s range of motion;
  • They were restrained from moving freely by the accused due to some form of duress; and
  • They must have been aware of their detention or if the victim was unaware of it at the time of detention.

A possible defense is showing the victim can’t prove all the elements. For example, the accused had the right to detain the victim, or the victim gave their consent for the detention.

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Additional Resources

New York State Senate – Follow the link provided to visit the legislation page displays the legal definition of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree – Section 135.05.

New York State Unified Court System – Click the link provided to view a PDF that lists Penal Law 135.05 and provides a clear definition of the term “restraint.”

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Garden City Unlawful Imprisonment In The Second Degree Lawyer | Nassau County, NY

If you have been accused of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, it’s not just important but necessary for you to have legal counsel by your side that you trust. You can find an experienced and skilled domestic violence attorney with Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. Founding attorney Stephanie Selloni has passion for what she does, as well as the techniques and knowledge needed to defend your case.

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni accepts unlawful imprisonment cases in Garden City, Riverstead, Mineola, and other communities across Nassau and Suffolk County. Call (516) 972-1212 to schedule a free consultation with Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today.

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