1520 Locust Street, Suite 700
Philadelphia, PA 19102

215.665.1695

False Imprisonment

Pennsylvania's false imprisonment statute is not intended to penalize every detention which might be the basis of a civil suit for false imprisonment. For example, if a merchant detains a suspected shoplifter for a short period of time for the purpose of questioning or recovering the stolen property then the detention would not constitute a crime under Pennsylvania's false imprisonment statute. Instead the statute requires proof of an "unlawful" detention.

Philadelphia False Imprisonment Lawyer

If you were charged with false imprisonment, kidnapping, or another crime of violence then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia, PA. We represent clients in false imprisonment cases throughout Bucks County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Delaware County, PA.

Important defenses exist to fight these charges. Call (215) 665-1695 to discuss your case today.


Pennsylvania False Imprisonment Overview


Back to top

Elements of False Imprisonment under Pennsylvania's Section 2903

The criminal offense of false imprisonment is typically charges as a misdemeanor of the second degree. The elements of the crime include:

  • knowingly restrains another;
  • unlawfully;
  • so as to interfere substantially with his liberty.

Pennsylvania's false imprisonment statute is found at 18 Pa.C.S.A. ยง 2903. It originally became effective on June 6, 1973 and was amended effective February 21, 2012.


Back to top

The False Imprisonment of a Minor Child

Under Section 2903(b), false imprisonment of a minor child (when the person accused is not the child's parent) is charged as a felony of the second degree. False imprisonment of a minor child requirement proof beyond all reasonable doubt that the person knowingly restrained the child unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with the child's liberty.

Under Section 2903(c), false imprisonment of a minor child when the offender is the child's parent is charged as a felony of the second degree if the parent knowingly restrains the child unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with the child's liberty. The term "parent" is defined to include a natural parent, stepparent, adoptive parent or guardian of a minor.


Back to top

Philadelphia False Imprisonment Defense Attorney

If you were charged with kidnapping or false imprisonment in Philadelphia, PA, or the surrounding areas of Bucks County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Delaware County, PA. Call our criminal defense attorney to discuss the facts of your case. We can begin your defense today.

Free Case Review

* required

Submission of this or any online form does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Proud Members Of:

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers