Savannah, GA False Imprisonment Lawyer
False imprisonment is a terrifying, trying, and traumatic experience. It is an offense to one’s dignity, and the injuries are emotionally profound.
The United States values individual liberty as one of the most precious and essential rights in human existence. No one — not even the government itself — is free to detain or restrain you without legal authority and adequate cause.
Unfortunately, false imprisonment happens with shocking regularity in this country, including right here in Savannah, Georgia. Victims frequently feel invaded, violated, and dehumanized.
If you’ve been wrongfully accused or detained, you may feel an instinct to demand justice. That instinct is a basic and natural part of what makes you human, and it ought to be honored. You do deserve justice, and The Law Offices of B. Clarke Nash, P.C. will fight for it.
At the outset, though, we need to clarify some of the terminology that gets mixed up when talking about false imprisonment. In general, when people use the term, they might be referring to any of the following:
- False imprisonment
- False arrest
It’s important to have a clear understanding of the differences between these terms, as well as the civil and/or criminal cases that can arise from them.
At the end of the day, if you have been detained or restrained in violation of the law, an experienced Savannah false imprisonment lawyer in our office can help you pursue false imprisonment-related cases with zealous vigor, demanding every penny and civil right that you’re owed under the law.
What Is False Imprisonment?
False imprisonment occurs when a person or organization wrongfully restricts your movement, restrains you, or otherwise prevents you from leaving a location. You can be falsely imprisoned even without the use of force or any physical contact whatsoever. In fact, someone can falsely imprison you using only gestures, words, or other non-physical behaviors.
Note that false imprisonment may not involve the police at all. Indeed, the most common example of false imprisonment in Georgia involves retail store security guards.
Imagine, for example, that you are shopping for an outfit at your favorite big-box retail store. You happen to have one item that you purchased months ago in your handbag, and you pull it out to see if it matches a new item on the store shelf. Deciding against it, you put your already-purchased item back in your bag and leave. A security staff member, who saw all this on a store camera but misconstrued the events, confronts you and accuses you of theft.
That scenario might give rise to several civil lawsuits. If the guard implies that you are not free to leave the store for any amount of time, even if he or she does not physically arrest or restrain you, you may be entitled to compensation for false imprisonment.
You might be surprised by how often these cases transpire. In fact, one Georgia family recently recovered more than $2 million after a particularly humiliating false accusation involving their terminally ill child.
In a difficult economy, loss prevention officers and security guards have becoming increasingly aggressive. That’s true of both major retail companies and local boutiques. Their concern for potential theft is understandable, but your rights don’t take a backseat to their bottom line.
Companies must be sure that their accusations are well founded before they make them, and even then, they must follow the law. If they turn out to be wrong, or if they overstep their boundaries, a Savannah false imprisonment lawyer can help.
Note: We also see false imprisonment in many other scenarios, ranging from restaurant owners and parking lot attendants to friends or family members in private homes or vehicles. Whatever the scenario, if you’ve been wrongfully detained, we can help.
What Is Kidnapping?
Kidnapping is similar to false imprisonment, but it involves one additional element: To be guilty of kidnapping, the defendant must physically move you from one location to another.
One common misconception is that only children are the victims of kidnapping. On the contrary, adults can be kidnapped too.
Kidnapping is a crime, and a serious one at that. Victims of kidnapping often file a civil lawsuit for false imprisonment in addition to pressing criminal kidnapping charges.
Free Case Review
If any person, police officer, company, or other organization has wrongfully or unlawfully restricted or detained you for any amount of time, you may be entitled to financial compensation and other legal relief. Contact our office to set up a free consultation with an experienced Savannah false imprisonment lawyer today.