What is false imprisonment in Florida?

The crime of False Imprisonment is a Third Degree Felony in Florida which is punishable by imprisonment of up to 5 years, and a fine of up to $5,000.

This offense occurs when a person:

forcibly imprisons or restrains another person against their will and without lawful authority to do so.

Defenses to False Imprisonment

  • The victim had sufficient means to leave the confined area.  [1]
    • A person in an unlocked room is not confined.    
  • Detaining an armed trespasser in a reasonable manner.  [2]
    • A property owner may take an armed trespasser into custody but must call law enforcement as soon as possible.  
  • Did not “purposefully and actively” participate.  [3, 4]
    • The defendant must have intended to participate in imprisoning.  Accidental confinement does not qualify.    
  • Defendant had the legal authority to do so, such as a police officer with a lawful arrest.  [5]
  • The victim was unaware of the confinement, such as a person who fell asleep in a locked room.  [5] 


  1. Gloster v. State, 603 So. 2d 1344 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1992).  
  1. Florida Statute 810.08(2)(c)
  1. Chaeld v. State, 599 So. 2d 1362, 1364 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1992).  
  1. Proko v. State, 566 So. 2d 918, 920 (Fla. 5th DCA 1990).  

5. Cruz v. Green, 352 F. Supp. 3d 1213, 1225 (S.D. Fla. 2019).

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Glenn M. Swiatek for a Free Initial Consultation in Destin, Shalimar, Crestview, Ft. Walton Beach and other areas of Northwest Florida

If you have been arrested or believe you will soon be arrested for the offense of false imprisonment in Destin, Shalimar, Crestview, Ft. Walton Beach or other areas of Northwest Florida please call us today at (850) 609‑0940 or contact us online.

Initial Office Consults are free, and I will make myself available to suit your schedule. Get the peace of mind that an attorney with over twenty-three years of criminal law experience can bring.