Unlawful restraint is a felony offense with serious repercussions for those convicted of it. The offense occurs when someone, without legal authority, detains another. The broad and far-reaching definition of the crime makes a range of behaviors illegal under it. Essentially, any action that prevents an individual from having freedom of movement can form the basis for conviction. If a weapon is involved in the detention, the crime will become even more serious. Those charged with unlawful restraint should seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, as the sooner your attorney can begin mounting your defense, the better your chances of success.Offering Experienced, Skilled, and Passionate Defense Against Unlawful Restraint Charges
The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg have decades of experience representing defendants against the charge of obstruction of justice, along with numerous other serious crimes. Our attorney team extensively investigates each case and, armed with this knowledge, mounts a fervent defense. The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg has successfully obtained acquittals for several clients charged with unlawful restraint, dismissal of charges, as well as favorable plea deals with no prison time.An Overview of The Crime of Unlawful Restraint in Illinois
Under 720 ILCS 5/10-3, a person commits unlawful restraint when he or she knowingly and without legal authority detains another.
The crime can be broken into the following elements for a better understanding:
- Detention— unlawful restraint must involve some sort of intentional detention. You cannot commit the crime of unlawful restraint by accident; you must intend for your actions to confine someone else. However, there is no requirement that the victim be physically placed in a holding area, secure building, or cell. Rather, it is enough that the victim believes they are restrained from leaving an area for a detention to occur. Thus, detention can result from verbal orders, lies, or physical restraint. Violence or the threat of violence can be involved.
- Unlawful— those with the legal authority to detain another cannot be convicted of unlawful restraint. The court will, however, be the ultimate decider as to whether or not you had the authority to detain another.
- Time— there is no minimum time requirement that a person must be confined. Accordingly, even a momentary confinement can be sufficient to form a conviction of unlawful restraint.
- Consent— if the victim consents to the confinement, you cannot unlawfully confine them. For instance, if a mall security officer asks someone to follow them to the security area, they did not commit unlawful restraint if the person accompanying them did so voluntarily.
- Escape— the confinement of the victim must be complete, meaning that the victim must not be able to leave. For instance, a person who can leave a confined area by opening the door and walking away is not confined. However, the victim must be aware of the reasonable manner within which he or she can escape and be capable of acting upon it. If the victim believes that violence will result if he or she attempts to leave that is enough to make the confinement complete even if an easy escape route exists.
By analyzing each element, you can form an idea of the potential defenses to a charge of unlawful restraint. Your particular defense will depend greatly on the individual circumstances of your case. For some individuals, the defense of lawful authority will be strongest, but for others a defense of mistaken identity or lack of intent will be more appropriate. Your experienced defense attorney will be the only one capable of fully analyzing the facts of your case and uncovering the best strategy for your defense.Unlawful Restraint is a Felony
Unlawful restraint is a Class 4 felony offense, punishable by one to three years in prison (the Illinois Department of Corrections) and a fine of up to $25,000. A defendant will also have one year of mandatory supervised release, formerly known as parole, after prison and/or up to 30 months of probation or conditional discharge.
Aggravated unlawful restraint is a Class 3 felony offense, punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Sex offender registration can be required in certain circumstances.
As a felony offense, an unlawful restraint conviction is not expungeable. Those convicted of this charge can face possible career repercussions, as a felony offense will appear on criminal records commonly searched by employers. It is important not to overlook the seriousness of this charge. An unlawful restraint conviction can have far-reaching consequences, but with the help of an experienced defense attorney you may be able to avoid conviction.Quick Action is Necessary to Defend Against Unlawful Restraint Charges
Those charged with unlawful restraint should secure the representation of an experienced unlawful restraint defense attorney as soon as possible after the arrest or filing of the complaint against you. The sooner you obtain an attorney, the more effective investigations will be and the stronger the defense you can mount. Your defense attorney will immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the charge, including interviewing witnesses and subpoenaing vital evidence, such as security camera footage, line ups, and the like. Armed with knowledge of the events leading to your charges and subsequent arrest, David L. Freidberg can advise you as to the best course of action. He will likely file several motions seeking to prevent the admission of inaccurate or prejudicial evidence. We may also move to have the felony charges dismissed for lack of probable cause, fight them at trial, or skillfully negotiate a strong plea deal. The important thing is to act quickly so that your best defense can be crafted by a professional with years of experience in the criminal defense industry.The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg: Providing Aggressive Defense against Unlawful Restraint Charges
Chicago criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg has more than 20 years experience representing clients who have been charged with unlawful restraint and other serious charges. Our criminal defense attorneys have an unmatched understanding of the laws concerning the crime of unlawful restraint and the possible defenses. The seasoned defense attorneys at The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg will investigate every pertinent fact to your case, often uncovering vital exculpatory evidence. We will mount a zealous defense with the intent of achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. The nature of the defense will vary depending upon your specific case, but we will often move to have the charges dropped based on lack of evidence. We diligently defend against both misdemeanor and felony convictions and always fight first to ensure you will not have to serve time in prison.
Facing any criminal charge can be frightening, but with the skilled representation of attorney David L. Freidberg, you can rest assured that your case will be defended to the fullest extent. Attorney Freidberg has successfully defended thousands of clients and will aggressively fight for your freedom. Contact us or all us today at (312) 560-7100 or toll free at 1 (800) 803-1442 to schedule your free consultation today. We are available 24/7 for your convenience.