A person commits false imprisonment if they confine or detain another person against their will.
There are lawful exceptions to this statute, such as for a police officer acting in good faith to do their job, or a health care professional holding someone for a health care or mental health emergency.
False Imprisonment is a class 2 misdemeanor in Colorado. Except that, if the defendant uses force, or threatens the use of force to confine or detain the victim, and holds that victim for at least 12 hours, then it is a class 5 felony.
There is no minimum length of time required for the unlawful detention. If the defendant prevents the movement of the alleged victim, even for a moment, this can amount to False Imprisonment.
False Imprisonment is charged far more frequently as a misdemeanor than as a felony in Colorado. Aggravated cases with facts like these are generally charged as Kidnapping, since there are most often facts that depict the defendant forcibly moving the victim into the location in which they are imprisoned. Misdemeanor Domestic Violence cases frequently involve False Imprisonment charges. It is common for a person in a domestic dispute to block another person from moving to a different location.
Penalties for False Imprisonment
False Imprisonment carries a possible penalty of 3 to 12 months in jail, and a fine from between $250 and $1,000. If it is charged as a felony, then the possible penalty is from 1 to 3 years in The Colorado Department of Corrections. If the judge found the case to be especially aggravated, he or she could increase the sentence to 6 years. Any sentence to prison will be followed by a mandatory 2-year parole period.