CALCRIM No. 1242. Misdemeanor False Imprisonment (Pen. Code, §§ 236, 237(a))

Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (2022 edition)

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1242.Misdemeanor False Imprisonment (Pen. Code, §§ 236,
237(a))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with false imprisonment [in
violation of Penal Code section 237(a)].
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;
AND
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.]
New January 2006
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
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].)
AUTHORITY
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].
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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].
RELATED ISSUES
General-Intent Crime
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.)
SECONDARY SOURCES
1 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against the
Person, §§ 273, 279.
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 142, Crimes
Against the Person, § 142.14[2][a], [b] (Matthew Bender).
KIDNAPPING CALCRIM No. 1242
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