Wrongful Accusations of False Imprisonment: Defenses and Fighting Back

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 08, 2023 | 0 Comments

If you have been wrongfully accused of false imprisonment, the stark reality of how difficult it is to disprove allegations of violence or abuse may come as a shock. While someone in your life may appear as a victim, you had no intention to detain or harm them. In order to effectively defend yourself, you need strong defense counsel as quickly as possible after any kind of wrongful accusation.

False Imprisonment in PA

False imprisonment is a misdemeanor under Pennsylvania law with a possible two-year imprisonment or a $5,000 fine, but the charge might also lead to accusations of domestic violence and a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order. False imprisonment accusations are easy to make and do not necessarily require either actual physical violence or verbal threats. There is a significant subjective element to false imprisonment, asking whether the alleged victim felt that they were detained and whether the accused acted intentionally.

Wrongful Accusations

It is possible that a party may make false accusations in order to gain an advantage or seek revenge in a contentious divorce or custody proceeding. Because of the nature of false imprisonment law, it is also possible that accusations result from a misunderstanding or mistake of fact. In this scenario, the accused and the alleged victim had an interaction, but the parties disagreed as to whether the victim was detained or confined.

Defenses to a Claim of False Imprisonment

There are a number of defenses available to an individual accused of false imprisonment. These defenses include:

  • Consent or assumption of risk.
  • Self-defense.
  • Lack of legal intention.
  • Shopkeeper's privilege.
  • Legal authority to restrain.

If you are wrongfully accused of false imprisonment, your focus should be to defend yourself against the charges. Some people ask whether they can pursue charges against a false accuser for the filing of a false police report or for damage to their reputation. It is possible to pursue charges against someone who intentionally files a false police report, but this would be limited to more extreme instances of false accusations. It is also possible to pursue civil claims for defamation or malicious prosecution, although these claims may be difficult to pursue.

If You Are Falsely Accused

  1. Remain calm.
  2. Get a lawyer as quickly as possible.
  3. Retain physical evidence, if any.
  4. Gather documents and make notes, including screenshots of online content.
  5. List witnesses.

In order to defend against false accusations, you may need to use character references to present evidence that suggests your accuser has intent to mislead or to challenge the credibility of your accuser.

The LLF Law Firm is experienced in domestic violence law and has successfully defended many clients accused of false imprisonment. We can evaluate your case and present a vigorous defense to wrongful accusations of false imprisonment to arrive at the best possible outcome for your case. Contact the LLF Law Firm at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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The LLF Law Firm Team has decades of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the LLF Law Firm today! Our Criminal Defense Team will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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