Unlawful Imprisonment

What is Unlawful Imprisonment?

According to RCW §9A.40.040, a person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment if he knowingly restrains another person.

The state's legal code defines the word "restrain" as restricting a person's movement without that individual's consent or without having legal authority over that person. The restriction of movement must be done in a way that interferes substantially with the individual's liberty. The restriction of another person's movement can be done through physical force, deception, or intimidation.

Penalties for Unlawful Imprisonment in Washington:

Unlawful imprisonment is considered a class C felony, which RCW §9A.20.021RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both.

Defending an Unlawful Imprisonment Charge:

There are multiple ways to defend a charge of unlawful imprisonment. One strategy is to challenge an element required for the offense. For example, you might argue that while you may have restrained another person, you did not knowingly do so. You might also argue that the alleged victim was not, in fact, restrained. In other words, your actions or words did not impede the movement of the alleged victim. Your defense strategy is crucial, and the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney is strongly advised.