This crime occurs when somebody gets involved with trying to restrain another person or using another person as a human shield. Where I've seen these cases come about is when somebody, for example, is robbing a location and they grab another person as a hostage so the police can't get them or security can't get them.
They grab them and if they have a gun, they put the gun on them. So, this is where this California Penal Code Section 210.5 comes up. You can't falsely imprison another person to avoid being arrested.
These are nasty cases. I don't see these a lot and I've been doing this for twenty-five years. The last time I saw this was when my client was robbing a jewelry store and he started grabbing people and taking the owner outside because the police were waiting outside for him with guns because there had been a silent alarm tripped.
stuff like you see on TV. Obviously, this is a recipe for disaster and the police are going to be very concerned that they're going to have to shoot somebody.
Prosecutors Aggressively Purse Harsh Penalties
When the prosecutor and judge sees these types of cases, this races red flags for them about this particular person and obviously, there going to be looking to imprison them for a long period of time. It's not just this Penal Code Section 210.5 which is very close to false imprisonment.
I think this Penal Code Section is a notch well-above false imprisonment. Then it just depends on what other goodies the prosecutors have – like if they used a gun to commit a robbery for example and they're using other people as shields.
They obviously can hit you with this charge in Los Angeles County. But not only that, they're going to hit you with robbery, a ten-year gun allegation for using a gun during the course of a robbery and whatever things apply.
People who are moving other people by force not only will get hit with this particular charge – the false imprisonment of a hostage to avoid arrest, they're also going to get charged with kidnapping which is a potential life case.
So, when you start seeing this Penal Code Section filed, it's a very serious case. In my opinion, having done a lot of criminal defense cases, there's a very short list of attorneys who have the ability to handle these types of cases.
In other words, know who to go to. Know what type of mitigating factors to bring up. A lot of times if you're getting charged with this you probably don't have a defense to it. You've just gone too far. A lot of times there's videotape of you committing the crime. There's a lot of witnesses who see it, including maybe the police.
So, if you or a loved one is charged with this offense, I'm sure there's a high bail and I would say at this point, all of the marbles are on the line, so make sure you choose wisely as far as who you pick as your attorney because if you don't, you or your loved one can suffer some severe consequences that cannot be undone.
Elements of the Crime for False Imprisonment
I have you come in. We talk about it. What I like to do if you're charged with this crime of false imprisonment of a hostage to avoid arrest, I like to break down the elements of Penal Code Section 210.5 and go over them and really see if the prosecutors have met those elements and if they have, now we start talking about damage control.
Why did this happen? What was the underlying reason? Is the person on drugs? Did the person lose everything in their life? There's a whole slew of different things that can trigger people to become involved in these types of violent offenses.
So, we're going to lay all that out on the table and then we're going to come up with a plan on what's realistic, what we can hope for to try to resolve this case, and then I'm going to figure out which prosecutors we're going to talk to and what strategy we're going to employ to get the result that we need in a case like this.
It's real easy when you're talking about a violation of Penal Code Section 210.5 for the prosecutors because there's probably a bunch of other charges that are very serious charged with it for them just to try to give the person life or somewhere north of twenty years. That's really easy for them because now they can say to society, look what we did.
We had this person do this dangerous thing. Somebody could have got killed. We're now putting them away for life. Nobody's going to argue against that.
So, to get them to actually take account of the case and really look at the defendant and figure out what happened here and give some sort of determinate sentence where we know when the person is going to get out of custody.
That's not easy to do. So, you're really fighting against certain things when you're trying to get them to do that, but it is possible. The only to get it done is to bring up the mitigating circumstances to do damage control and to hire an attorney like me who's been doing this a long time, knows what to say and knows what's going to make a difference in the eyes of the prosecutor and the judge.
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