Has False Imprisonment Stemmed From Your CO DV Incident?

Colorado is a bit unique when it comes to domestic violence – and the charges that can stem from a domestic violence incident may surprise some people.

In Colorado, domestic violence is not a crime itself. Instead, it’s seen as an enhancement to another crime. That’s why, if you’ve had the police called to your home for a domestic violence dispute, you may find that the charges against you are significant – and topped off with a domestic violence enhancement.

One of the most common crimes associated with domestic violence is false imprisonment. What is false imprisonment, and how does a domestic violence enhancement impact the charge? Read on to find out.

False Imprisonment: What Is It?

False imprisonment happens when someone unlawfully detains another person without their consent and without lawful permission to do so. A common example: One person blocks the door so another cannot leave the room during an argument.

How Is False Imprisonment Different From Kidnapping?

You may think that false imprisonment sounds a lot like kidnapping, since it’s keeping someone in a place against their will, but there’s one major difference: Movement. To commit a kidnapping in Colorado, you have to detain someone and then transport them someplace else during that period of confinement.

Transferring location is what makes the crime kidnapping versus false imprisonment. However, that doesn’t mean false imprisonment is a crime to be taken lightly. It is serious and has very weighty consequences in Colorado.

Penalties for False Imprisonment

The penalties a person can face for false imprisonment depend on the facts of their particular case. In most cases, false imprisonment will result in a charge of a Class 2 misdemeanor. That can send someone to jail for up to one year and make them responsible to pay fines of as much as $1,000.

However, a Class 5 felony can be charged if force or threats are used to detain the victim – or if they were confined for a period of 12 hours or more. It can also be a Class 5 felony if the victim was under 18 and barricaded or locked in a room in such a way as to cause injury or emotional distress. This is also the case if the confinement is found to be part of a pattern of behavior.

If you are convicted of a Class 5 felony, then you can face up to 24 months in prison and be responsible for fines of as much as $100,000. Of course, if the imprisonment is charged with a domestic violence enhancement, that can make things worse for you.

False Imprisonment and Domestic Violence

If false imprisonment stems from a domestic violence situation, then upon conviction your sentence can be elevated under Colorado’s domestic violence enhancements. Your prison sentence might be lengthened, and you may be ordered to leave the house you share with the victim.

If you are convicted of a crime of domestic violence in Colorado, then a protective order is automatically filed against you. This can result in being ordered to stay away from the victim, which includes leaving a residence you may share. You might not be able to see any children you share with them, either.

As you can see, domestic violence is an issue that can make a bad situation worse. If you’re facing charges with a domestic violence enhancement, then you need an experienced attorney on your side.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.