false imprisonment question

This is a discussion on false imprisonment question within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm somewhat confused on an issue that relates to false imprisonment, but first a little background information. A week or so before Christmas, someone tried ...

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Thread: false imprisonment question

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    false imprisonment question

    I'm somewhat confused on an issue that relates to false imprisonment, but first a little background information.

    A week or so before Christmas, someone tried to break into my Dad's car around 2am. My Dad yelled out the window, grabbed his gun and went outside to investigate while my Mom called the police. I asked my Dad if he had his gun when he went outside to which he said yes. I asked if he realized that he could only draw and fire if/only if his life was in danger. What's more, by his going outside to investigate rather than wait for the police could/would be viewed as his escalating the situation.

    His response was that he wasn't planning on shooting, but if someone were still there, he'd detain them until the police arrived. My understanding is that this would be considered "false imprisonment" regardless of the theft/crime being committed by the simple fact that my Dad is not a LEO. Does this sound right? If that's the case, how does it work when people are detained by civilians until police arrive?

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    That will depend to a large extent on local statutes relative to citizens arrest. With favorable statutes an attempt to arrest would not be considered an escalation in many cases.
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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    That all depends on your dad and his car are located. Use of force laws are specific to a particular state. What I can legally do in Texas would put me in prison for twenty or more years in other states.
    Many states do have legal provisions for "citizens arrest" that authorize the use of force and at least one allows force up to and including deadly force to prevent the bad guy from escaping.
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    VIP Member Array tkruf's Avatar
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    Not false imprisonment, but more like detaining the person for law enforcement, or even "Citizens Arrest". Whatever you want to call it, but the so called BG here would be the one in the wrong, not the home owner who's car is getting broken into, if that be the case.
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    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    I have no idea of the Florida law concerning citizens arrest. But I do know that in many cases, it is not lawful to use or threaten to use deadly force to accomplish a citizens arrest.
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    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback. I did a search against the Florida Statutes and think I found the part related to this specific instance. I believe my Dad would have been in the right, but still, I'd rather he'd stay inside and wait for the police. This happened in South Florida, gangs are everywhere and travel in packs.

    This is what I've found, in case anyone else from Florida were interested (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/...s/0810.08.html):


    The 2010 Florida Statutes

    Title XLVI
    CRIMES

    Chapter 810
    BURGLARY AND TRESPASS

    View Entire Chapter
    810.08

    Trespass in structure or conveyance.

    (1)

    Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, . . .

    . . .
    (c)
    Any owner or person authorized by the owner may, for prosecution purposes, take into custody and detain, in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable length of time, any person when he or she reasonably believes that a violation of this paragraph has been or is being committed, and he or she reasonably believes that the person to be taken into custody and detained has committed or is committing such violation. In the event a person is taken into custody, a law enforcement officer shall be called as soon as is practicable after the person has been taken into custody. The taking into custody and detention by such person, if done in compliance with the requirements of this paragraph, shall not render such person criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.
    (3)

    As used in this section, the term “person authorized” means any owner or lessee, or his or her agent, or any law enforcement officer whose department has received written authorization from the owner or lessee, or his or her agent, to communicate an order to depart the property in the case of a threat to public safety or welfare.

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    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agave View Post
    I have no idea of the Florida law concerning citizens arrest. But I do know that in many cases, it is not lawful to use or threaten to use deadly force to accomplish a citizens arrest.
    Good point.!. I haven't found yet where it specifies how much force may be used. I've gotta keep digging.

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    I know oklahoma's citizens arrest laws state you can use "reasonable force" which leads me to believe that if I were to try to arrest someone and they escalate it, I can up the ante. However I would not be justified in immediately drawing on a petty thief.
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    Member Array Hubs's Avatar
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    Since this occurred on his own property, I would think that FL's Castle Doctrine rules would be in effect.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cz75luver View Post
    I'm somewhat confused on an issue that relates to false imprisonment, but first a little background information.

    A week or so before Christmas, someone tried to break into my Dad's car around 2am. My Dad yelled out the window, grabbed his gun and went outside to investigate while my Mom called the police. I asked my Dad if he had his gun when he went outside to which he said yes. I asked if he realized that he could only draw and fire if/only if his life was in danger. What's more, by his going outside to investigate rather than wait for the police could/would be viewed as his escalating the situation.

    His response was that he wasn't planning on shooting, but if someone were still there, he'd detain them until the police arrived. My understanding is that this would be considered "false imprisonment" regardless of the theft/crime being committed by the simple fact that my Dad is not a LEO. Does this sound right? If that's the case, how does it work when people are detained by civilians until police arrive?
    In Florida, a citizen may make an arrest for a felony committed in his or her presence if they reasonably believe that the person being arrested committed the felony.

    That said, it's a stupid thing to do, fraught with significant legal jeopardy and absolutely no benefit for the citizen making the arrest.

    For answers to questions like this pertaining to Florida, I'd strongly recommend picking up a copy of Jon Gutmacher's book from http://www.floridafirearmslaw.com/

    The escalation issue is separate from the arrest, and rises when the person leaves their home to go initiate a confrontation with the subject. Florida has some pretty decent laws that favor the law abiding property owner, but it's still an escalation. More importantly, bad guys often travel in packs, and your father could easily have come out on the losing side of a gunfight had there been one. The question I would have asked him is "What in your car was worth either taking a life over or losing yours over? Is there anything that was in your car that Mom would have wanted instead of having you around any more?"

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hubs View Post
    Since this occurred on his own property, I would think that FL's Castle Doctrine rules would be in effect.
    Not necessarily. I'm going by Oklahoma law again here, since I'm not from Florida. In Oklahoma, Castle Doctrine only applies in the home, vehicle etc. While your front yard may be your property, Castle Doctrine does not apply there.
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    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    What he (paaiyan) said...the CD in Florida as it pertains to residence is invoked when an uninvited party with no legal right to be there uses force to enter the dwelling... IANAL be sure to research for yourself. I have included some of Fl's relevant statutes that I have in a FL CCW Data Sheet I have been collecting data for.

    c. FS 790 – Florida Weapons and Firearms Statute Chapter 790
    d. FS 790.06 – Florida License to Carry Concealed Weapon or Firearm
    e. FS 776 – Florida Justifiable Use of Force Statute
    f. FS 776.012 – Florida “Stand Your Ground” Defense of a Person Statute
    g. FS 776.013 – Florida “Castle Doctrine” Home protection Statute
    h. FS 776.06 – Florida Justifiable Use of Force – Deadly Force Statute
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    That will depend to a large extent on local statutes relative to citizens arrest. With favorable statutes an attempt to arrest would not be considered an escalation in many cases.
    Absolutely correct ! ! ! Here, you can use "ANY" force reasonably felt necessary to detain a person and perform a citizen arrest of a person committing a felony . However, if they are NOT committing a felony, that's a whole different matter and you aren't protected.

    The best statement would be, he took the gun in order to be able to protect himself .. as he did not know whether the guy was armed or not. Second.... he went to investigate and didn't know what to expect.

    Breaking into the car, all depends upon "intent" of the person here. IF he was breaking in and committing a burglarly of the vehicle, to steal the car, etc..... then those are felonies.
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    Senior Member Array wjh2657's Avatar
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    The issue here is not "what is legal" so much as "what is prudent." Anytime you enter willfully into a situation involving weapons you are walking in harms way.

    When I was taking Martial Arts (I am not a black belt or anything) a wise old Sensei explained a "mutual" fight involving any weapons this way:

    Both parties are going to get hurt . The winner is determined by who got hurt the most (loser). The whole thing may be a moot issue however, as both parties may die.

    What determines a "mutual fight?" That is a fight you did not have to be involved in and therefore could avoid.

    So what is the best tactic in a mutual weapons fight? Don't get involved so you don't get hurt.

    Self defense is not a fight, you have been attacked, so the issue of getting hurt is already an unavoidable fact. Now you are into survival mode, hurt the other guy more than he can hurt you. Ideal: Hurt him enough that he can't hurt you.
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    Member Array JB-Norcal's Avatar
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    So what if "Dad" looked out the window, said nothing and put his pistol in his waistband and just went outside quickly? The BG runs away, or attacks (comes towards in a menacing manner) "Dad" who defends himself, same result, the burglery ends or turn into assault, "Dad" is always the victim. What if "Dad" was in error concerning whether or not the man was breaking into the car? I was once mistaken for another person in a smililar event and if I cc'd then and a home owner came out yelling and brandishing, I'd defend myself.
    Leaving your home with gun drawn really sets the stage poorly in any state you live.

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