False Imprisonment

False Imprisonment

False imprisonment is when the alleged victim has the perception that he or she is being confined to an area and cannot leave. NRS § 200.460(1) defines false imprisonment as an “unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another, and consists in confinement or detention without sufficient legal authority.”

Las Vegas False Imprisonment Defense Attorney

False imprisonment is generally considered to be a crime of violence that comes with serious misdemeanor or felony penalties depending on the other facts alleged and whether certain enhancements are charged. If you are charged with any form of misdemeanor or felony false imprisonment then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Joel M. Mann.

Attorney Joel Mann represents clients charged with violent crimes and is particularly experienced in fighting accusations of domestic violence and false imprisonment under NRS § 200.460.


Information on False Imprisonment


Statutory Elements of False Imprisonment

Nevada Revised Statute, NRS § 200.460, sets out the elements for the crime of False Imprisonment. Those elements include:

  • an unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another; and
  • consists in confinement or detention;
  • without sufficient legal authority.

Under NRS § 200.460(2), if the person is convicted of false imprisonment then the person shall be ordered to pay restitution for all damages sustained by the alleged victim who was falsely imprisoned.

False imprisonment is often lesser-included-offense of kidnapping in Nevada. Therefore, in a kidnapping case, the trial court will often give a jury instruction explaining to the jury that false imprisonment is a lesser included offense of the more serious charge of kidnapping.


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Penalties and Punishments in Nevada for False Imprisonment

False imprisonment is generally charged as a gross misdemeanor.
Enhanced penalties apply, under NRS § 200.460(3) if the false imprisonment is committed:

  • By a prisoner in a penal institution without a deadly weapon; or
  • By any other person with the use of a deadly weapon.

If the enhanced penalties under NRS § 200.460(3) apply, then the crime is classified as a category B felony with the potential punishment of one to six years in prison.

Enhanced penalties also apply under NRS § 200.460(4) if the suspect commits the criminal offense of false imprisonment by using another person as a shield or to avoid arrest. Using another person as a human shield while committing the act of false imprisonment is classified as a category B felony and is potentially punishable by imprisonment for one to fifteen years.

Under NRS § 200.460(5) if the false imprisonment is committed "by a prisoner who is in lawful custody or confinement with the use of a deadly weapon, the person convicted of such a false imprisonment is guilty of a category B felony…."

Under NRS § 200.460(5), false imprisonment is punishable by one to 20 years in prison.


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False Imprisonment in Civil Cases

In the civil context, a defendant may generally be subject to liability for false imprisonment when the defendant intends to and does confine an individual within fixed boundaries and the individual is conscious of and harmed by it.

Many of these false imprisonment cases result from an allegation of false arrest. In that context, the courts have held that a claimant must show that the actor instigated or effected an unlawful arrest. The courts have also noted that false imprisonment arising from a false arrest occurs when the claimant's liberty is restrained "under the probable imminence of force without any legal cause or justification." Garton v. City of Reno, 102 Nev. 313, 314–15, 720 P.2d 1227, 1228 (1986).

For example, in Hernandez v. City of Reno, the Nevada Supreme Court held that “an actor is subject to liability to another for false imprisonment ‘if (a) he acts intending to confine the other or a third person within boundaries fixed by the actor, and (b) his act directly or indirectly results in such a confinement of the other, and (c) the other is conscious of the confinement or is harmed by it.’ ”

Submission to mere verbal direction of another unaccompanied by force or threats of any character does not constitute false imprisonment. Lerner Shops v. Marin, 83 Nev. 75, 423 P.2d 398 (1967); NRS 200.460(1). Apprehension that one might in the future lose one's job or be prosecuted for theft is not force or the threat of force which is necessary to establish false imprisonment. Roberts v. Coleman, 228 Or. 286, 365 P.2d 79 (1961).

In Marschall v. City of Carson, 86 Nev. 107, 110, 464 P.2d 494, 497 (1970) the court noted that to establish false imprisonment, a plaintiff must prove that he was “restrained of his liberty under the probable imminence of force without any legal cause or justification, therefore.”


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Finding a Defense Attorney for False Imprisonment in Las Vegas

If you are charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment in the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area, or throughout Clark County, Nevada, including North Las Vegas or Henderson, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Law Office of Joel M. Mann.

Call (702) 474-6266 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss the allegations made against you and possible defenses to fight those charges.