1242. Misdemeanor False Imprisonment
The defendant is charged [in Count ______] with false imprisonment.
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:
1. The defendant intentionally [and unlawfully] (restrained[,]/ [or] detained[,]/ [or] confined) a person;
2. The defendant's act made that person stay or go somewhere against that person's will.
[An act is done against a person's will if that person does not consent to the act. In order to consent, a person must act freely and voluntarily and know the nature of the act.]
[False imprisonment does not require that the person restrained or detained be confined in jail or prison.]
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of the crime.
Give the bracketed words "and unlawfully" in element 1 on request if there is evidence that the defendant acted lawfully. The court will need to further define for the jury when a restraint, detention, or confinement is legal.
Give the bracketed definition of "against a person's will" on request.
Give the final paragraph on request to inform jurors that false "imprisonment" is not limited to confinement in jail or prison. (People v. Agnew (1940) 16 Cal.2d 655, 659 [107 P.2d 601]; People v. Haney (1977) 75 Cal.App.3d 308, 313 [142 Cal.Rptr. 186].)
Elements. Pen. Code, §§ 236, 237(a); People v. Agnew (1940) 16 Cal.2d 655, 659-660 [107 P.2d 601].
General-Intent Crime. People v. Fernandez (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 710, 717-718 [31 Cal.Rptr.2d 677]; People v. Olivencia (1988) 204 Cal.App.3d 1391, 1399-1400 [251 Cal.Rptr. 880]; People v. Swanson (1983) 142 Cal.App.3d 104, 109 [190 Cal.Rptr. 768].
Confinement in Jail or Prison Not Required. People v. Agnew (1940) 16 Cal.2d 655, 659 [107 P.2d 601]; People v. Haney (1977) 75 Cal.App.3d 308, 313 [142 Cal.Rptr. 186].
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against the Person, § 77.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes Against the Person, § 142.14[a], [b] (Matthew Bender).
False imprisonment is a general-intent crime. (People v. Fernandez (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 710, 716-718 [31 Cal.Rptr.2d 677]; People v. Olivencia (1988) 204 Cal.App.3d 1391 [251 Cal.Rptr. 880]; People v. Swanson (1983) 142 Cal.App.3d 104, 109 [190 Cal.Rptr. 768].) Thus, the court is not required to instruct on the joint union of act and specific intent (People v. Fernandez, supra, 26 Cal.App.4th at p. 716), on the use of circumstantial evidence to prove specific intent (People v. Swanson, supra, 142 Cal.App.3d at pp. 109-110), or that the jury should consider mental illness in deciding whether the defendant acted with specific intent (People v. Olivencia, supra, 204 Cal.App.3d at p. 1399).
Parent Confining Child
A parent who confines his or her child with the intent to endanger the health and safety of the child or for an unlawful purpose can be prosecuted for false imprisonment. (People v. Checketts (1999) 71 Cal.App.4th 1190, 1195 [84 Cal.Rptr.2d 491] [unlawful purpose of avoiding prosecution]; see also People v. Rios (1986) 177 Cal.App.3d 445, 451 [222 Cal.Rptr. 913].) If there is sufficient evidence that the parent's restraint or confinement was a reasonable exercise of parental authority, the court has a sua sponte duty to instruct on that defense. (People v. Checketts, supra, 71 Cal.App.4th at p. 1196.)
(New January 2006)