Whether you were held by law enforcement, an acquaintance, or a business owner accusing you of theft, if you are a victim of personal injury that stems from false imprisonment, you have rights that you should understand. False imprisonment is a personal injury claim that falls under the category of an intentional act. If you may feel that you suffered from an intentional act of false imprisonment from a source that was not authorized to do so, you should understand what qualifies the claim and how you should proceed.
What Is Considered False Imprisonment?
False imprisonment is considered a civil proceeding, or tort, that involves an unlawful restraint against your will with no legal justification as a basis. In order to proceed with a tort of false imprisonment, you have to prove two key elements were involved in the injury: threat, or implied threat, by the offending party, and the application of a "reasonable person" standard. A reasonable person standard suggests that under the alleged circumstances any reasonable person would believe they are actually being detained.
What's A Legal Basis For Imprisonment?
A legal basis for imprisonment does exist, so before you speak with a personal injury attorney, you need to understand whether your claim falls under a legal detention. A lawful arrest or voluntary consent on your part with law enforcement proceedings does not qualify as false imprisonment. And if you were detained by a business owner that's accusing you of theft, you are not necessarily under false imprisonment, as there is a Shopkeeper's privilege common law that protects the rights of business owner's when they suspect you have committed a theft. The privilege does, however, come with stipulations, so being detained for an unnecessary period of time, beyond the business's premises, or under violent force would be means for an imprisonment tort.
Tort vs. Criminal Proceedings
False imprisonment is a civil tort that can result in a lawsuit that claims physical, emotional, or psychological damage suffered as a result of the negative intentions of another individual or body. In many legal jurisdictions, false imprisonment is also a criminal misdemeanor offense though, so if you have determined from the criteria of false imprisonment that you were a victim there are reasons you should seek legal advocacy (from professionals such as Vick & Glantz, LLP). False imprisonment is not only a civil offense that can cause severe and lasting damage to you personally, but it is also sometimes considered a crime against the public welfare.