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Murfreesboro Unlawful Restraint Attorneys

Unlawful restraint is a legal definition that applies to the crime of false imprisonment. While false imprisonment is designated as a misdemeanor under state law, a conviction can still carry painful consequences that can affect a defendant for years to come.

What is Unlawful Restraint?

Section 39-13-301(15) Tennessee Code Annotated defines unlawful restraint as a removal or confinement that is accomplished by force, threat, or fraud. If the victim is a child under the age of thirteen, unlawful confinement must be accomplished without the consent of a parent, guardian, or another person responsible for the child’s welfare. (The same standard applies to adults who are incompetent to make their own legal decisions.)

The related crime of false imprisonment is defined as “knowingly removing or confining another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with the other's liberty.” Section 39-13-302 of the Tennessee Code designates this as a Class A misdemeanor.

What are the Penalties for a Conviction?

Class A misdemeanors in Tennessee can be punished by up to 11 months and 29 days in prison. You can also face a fine of up to $2500. Unfortunately, these are not the only consequences a defendant can face as the result of a conviction for false imprisonment.

The Collateral Consequences of a Conviction for False Imprisonment

The consequences of a false imprisonment conviction can be made worse by the circumstances surrounding the offense. If, for example, the victim was a family member, the case could be designated as a domestic violence offense. This could trigger the provisions of the federal Brady Act. Under the Brady Act, anyone who is convicted of any domestic violence offense - even a misdemeanor - is permanently banned from owning handguns for life. A domestic violence designation could also be detrimental in the family court. If, for example, you are fighting for custody of your children, any domestic violence conviction (including false imprisonment) will make it more difficult to exercise your parental rights.

There are also collateral consequences that come with any criminal conviction. It can be more difficult to find jobs, housing, and access to credit. You may not be able to secure or maintain a professional license. If the false imprisonment was committed in or with a vehicle, you might even face the possibility of restricted driving privileges. This is why it is so important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as you learn that you are the subject of a criminal investigation.

The Right Defense Lawyers for Murfreesboro Criminal Charges

Any criminal conviction - even a misdemeanor - can dramatically affect the rest of your life. An experienced defense lawyer will be able to fight improper searches, seizures, and confessions to protect you from an improper conviction. In addition to protecting your constitutional rights, a skilled defense attorney can also help mitigate the consequences of a conviction through a fair plea agreement. Call (615) 890-1982 or contact us online to schedule your free case evaluation at Dotson and Taylor. For years, Murfreesboro residents have trusted us to protect their constitutional rights.