The Crime of False Imprisonment in Louisiana
Under the law, there are two types of false imprisonment: 1) Civil False Imprisonment, which is known as a tort (civil wrong) and 2) Criminal False Imprisonment, a criminal offense. Naturally, I am going to discuss the criminal offense, since this is a criminal defense attorney blog.
People usually want to know if false imprisonment is a felony or a misdemeanor offense. The answer to this questions depends on the statute under which the individual is charged and the facts surrounding the incident.
Under La. R.S. 14:46, false imprisonment is defined as “the intentional confinement or detention of another, without his consent and without proper legal authority.” Whoever commits this offense shall be fined not more than $200.00 and imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both. This offense is a misdemeanor.
Under La. R.S. 14:46.1, false imprisonment is defined as “the intentional confinement or detention of another while the offender is armed with a dangerous weapon.” Whoever commits this offense shall be imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for no more than 10 years. This crime is a felony — but it is probatable, meaning the judge may suspend the offender’s sentence and sentence the offender to probation.
Anyone who is convicted of False Imprisonment (with or without a weapon) of a victim who is under the age of 18 will have to register as a Sex Offender for 15 years, to be updated annually.