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Criminal Restraint & False Imprisonment
Perth Amboy NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers
Although the offenses of criminal restraint and false imprisonment are infrequently charged, they do nonetheless arise in Perth Amboy and elsewhere in this area. If you were arrested for either violation, your case could just as easily be headed to the Superior Court or the municipal court. The reason is because a criminal restraint charge is an indictable matter which can only be handled at the county level whereas false imprisonment is a misdemeanor which usually ends up being handled in a local court like the one in Carteret, Spotswood, Highland Park, Middlesex or South Brunswick. What you should keep in mind is that you will have a criminal record that can follow you around for years if you are found guilty of these charges. You can also be incarcerated for months for false imprisonment and well over a year for criminal restraint. Our criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have the experience to insure that you escape penalties and consequences like these. We are former prosecutors who have been practicing in Middlesex County for over a century. An attorney who has the knowledge and skill to help you is available immediately by calling our Woodbridge Office at 732-634-0700.
Criminal Restraint Offense in Middlesex County New Jersey
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2, criminal restraint is a felony criminal offense of the third degree. What this means is that jurisdiction to decide this charge rests with the Middlesex County Superior Court since that is the only place where an indictable crime like third degree criminal restraint can be decided. Criminal restraint occurs when a person knowingly restrains another unlawfully in circumstances exposing the other to risk of serious bodily injury or, holds the other in a condition of involuntary servitude. To understand the statute, it is important to first understand the statutory definition of “serious bodily harm” and “involuntary servitude”. Serious bodily injury is injury that creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. Involuntary servitude exists when the Defendant creates circumstances that cause the victim to believe that he must remain in a particular location. As a part of Criminal Restraint, the State is required to prove that the Defendant acted knowingly, meaning that the defendant knew that he was restraining the victim, knew that the restraint was unlawful, and knew that the victim was exposed to serious bodily injury or that he knew that he was holding another in a condition of involuntary servitude. Without proof of this “mens rea” or guilty mindset, the State cannot prove the offense of criminal estraint.
False Imprisonment Charge
False Imprisonment is a less serious charge. as a conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3 is a disorderly persons offense. As such, it is typically dealt with in a municipality court like the one in Cranbury, Metuchen, South Amboy, North Brunswick and Plainsboro. What differentiates false imprisonment from criminal restraint is that the latter requires exposing another to serious bodily injury. Where this is lacking, false imprisonment applies and a lower grade of criminal violation. Notwithstanding, a conviction for false imprisonment results in potentially serious penalties, along with a criminal record. To obtain a conviction, the State is required to prove that the accused knowingly and unlawfully restrained another person. In order for the restraint to be unlawful, it must be by force, threat, or deception. When the victim is a child under the age of fourteen, or an incompetent person, the State must prove that the restraint happened without the consent of a parent or guardian.
Penalties for Criminal Restraint & False Imprisonment
Criminal Restraint, a crime of the third degree, carries a possible term of imprisonment up to 5 years and a fine of up to $15,000. A third degree crime is a felony and a conviction under 2C:13-2 therefore results in felony criminal record. False Imprisonment is a disorderly persons offense that can result in up to six (6) months in jail, $1,000 in fines and other financial assessments by the Court. Probation is also a potential penalty in the case of both criminal restraint and false imprisonment.
Monroe Township NJ False Imprisonment Defense Attorney
False Imprisonment is a charge which comes up in Monroe, which is the largest municipality in Middlesex County. If you were charged with violating 2C:13-3 in the township, you need to consult a qualified attorney so they can undertake your defense. A lawyer who is savvy in what is necessary to avoid a conviction is going to assist you in maintaining your life without further complication. This is exactly what the lawyers at our firm can facilitate for you. We will thoroughly review and prepare you case so that penalties are minimized or eliminated altogether. To speak to an attorney on our team now, call our East Brunswick Office at 732-227-1200.