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Our Attorneys Fight Hard for Maximum Compensation for Victims of False Arrest or Imprisonment

We Know What It Takes to Win™ False Imprisonment Cases

For over 38 years, Montlick & Associates has fought for justice on behalf of injured victims and their families. With billions of dollars recovered for our clients, Our Experience Pays!*

If you or a loved one have been a victim of false arrest and/or false imprisonment at the hands of someone else, contact Montlick & Associates, Injury Attorneys, today for your free consultation. Contact us Nationwide,  24/7 at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or by simply dialing  #WIN (#946) from your cellphone. You may also visit us at and contact us through our Free Case Evaluation Form or Free 24-hour live chat.**

False Imprisonment and Arrest Claims

False imprisonment is both a crime and a tort, which means that a person subjected to false imprisonment can make a claim for monetary compensation, and the person who committed the act can also be held criminally liable.  False imprisonment is defined as an act in which one person restrains or confines another person without that other person’s consent and without authority to do so.  

False imprisonment typically happens when a store owner or employee stops and restrains or confines a customer believed to have committed theft.  The key element to any false arrest/imprisonment claim is when the victim is innocent of any wrongdoing.  Being stopped, restrained, and held against your will without legal authority is undoubtedly a stressful, emotional, embarrassing, and sometimes dangerous experience.

False imprisonment can include physical restraint, such as tying one’s hands behind his or her back, placing handcuffs on the person, or tying a person to a chair, among other methods of physical restraint. A simple act of a stopping a customer from leaving a store can constitute false arrest. False imprisonment can also include placing a person in a bound area such as a locked room in the back of a store.

The Threat of False Imprisonment

A statement from a store owner threatening to imprison a customer is not enough to be considered false imprisonment.  However, if there is a threat of physical force or harm, and the customer reasonably fears for his or her safety or life, such conduct may qualify as false imprisonment under most state laws.

Lack of Legal Authority

Retraining or detainment of a person without a warrant is considered a false arrest.  As such, if a detained person is deprived of his or her liberty, even for a short amount of time, the perpetrator may be found not only criminally liable for false imprisonment and arrest but may also be found liable as part of a civil lawsuit.

Understanding the “Shopkeeper’s Privilege”

A store owner or employee who reasonably believes a customer has shoplifted may detain the alleged perpetrator while the store owner investigates the situation, which is considered the “Shopkeeper’s Privilege,” often presented as an affirmative defense to criminal and civil claims.  The store owner can generally only detain the person for a short time and cannot confine, bind or place the individual into a locked area. The purpose of the Shopkeeper’s Privilege is to allow time for law enforcement officials to arrive to investigate the situation and determine whether the person being detained committed theft.

Legal Claims of False Imprisonment and Arrest

A person who has been unlawfully arrested or detained may have grounds to seek compensation against the party who committed the act of false imprisonment or arrest, including damages for:

  • Humiliation
  • Harm to the Victim’s Reputation
  • Past, Present and Future Medical Expenses
  • Past, Present and Future Lost Income
  • Pain & Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Punitive damages depending on the egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct

If an act of false imprisonment or arrest is considered unconscionable and outrageous (such as shooting a customer point-blank if he or she refuses to stay in a store), the injured plaintiff may be entitled to punitive damages which are intended to punish the conduct in question.  The purpose of such damages is to encourage individuals and businesses to act within the law in the future so similar situations can be prevented.

Legal Time Deadlines: Act Now to Preserve Your Right to Recover Maximum Compensation

All types of legal claims are subject to “statutes of limitations” or legal time deadlines, which vary from state to state.

WARNING: Failing to comply with a statute of limitations will permanently bar your right to a recovery, and there are also exceptions that can shorten or even lengthen the deadline! 

By way of example only, certain types of claims, such as claims against governmental entities, can have much shorter deadlines.  In some cases, a combination of different types of legal claims may exist that involve different time frames, which may be due to multiple defendants and/or even the laws of more than one jurisdiction.  Additionally, false arrest and imprisonment claims can even carry different statutes of limitation than standard personal injury claims, depending on the state in which the act occurred.

In addition to legal deadlines, there are other reasons not to delay.   Additionally, witnesses can eventually forget what happened, and important evidence, such as items at the scene or store video footage, can also disappear.  

Our false arrest attorneys can examine the facts and circumstances relevant to your case to determine which statutes of limitations (deadlines) apply.  We take the required actions to preserve all-important legal deadlines on behalf of our clients.

Montlick & Associates - Fighting Hard & Winning Cases since 1984 - Our Promise to You

1. Treat your case as if it were our own. We'll treat you the same way we would want to be treated – as if it were our own case, or the case of a close friend or family member.

2. Protect you from powerful insurance companies. One of the first things the insurance adjuster will typically say is that you do not need an attorney. That's because the insurance company's goal is to pay you as little money as possible. And they know that injured people get substantially more money with an attorney representing them. With over 38 years of experience dealing with insurance companies, we can help you navigate through the insurance company minefields and avoid any traps.

3. Analyze your case at no charge to you. We'll evaluate your situation and advise you how to best protect your rights, at no charge to you. We invite you to call us 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays to request a free consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers. Or use our 24/7 online chat right here on our website.

4. Vigorously fight on your behalf in order to obtain all the compensation and benefits you deserve. There's always a lot at stake after a serious injury, and when our clients rely on us for help, we never take that situation lightly. We work extremely hard, and we will always do the right thing when it comes to our clients.

5. Give your case our personal attention. We tell our clients: "We want you to concentrate on getting well. We want to hear from you if you have any questions or concerns. We work for you, not the other way around."

6. Promptly return phone calls and keep you informed. We are sure you've heard about professionals who do not return phone calls.  Or, perhaps you have spoken to people using other law firms who never knew what was going on with their case. That won't happen with us. We keep our clients well informed of important developments and routinely send copies of correspondence regarding their case.

7. Be there for you when you need us most. When our clients first call us after a serious injury, they're understandably really worried. And we say to them, "You don't have to do this alone." We'll take on the insurance company for you and help you get the money you deserve for your medical treatments, lost wages, car repairs and pain and suffering. That's the kind of help we've been giving for over 38 years.

8. Always treat you with dignity and respect. Our promise is to operate at all times with honesty, integrity, high moral character and unquestionable ethics. And we'll treat you with kindness and give you and your family the dignity and respect that you deserve.

Free Case Review and Consultation to Protect Your Legal Rights

Our attorneys fight hard to get our clients the compensation they deserve.  No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away.  For your Free Consultation contact Montlick & Associates, Nationwide 24/7 at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or by simply dialing #WIN (#946) from your mobile phone.  We also can be contacted at where you can submit a Free Case Evaluation Form 24/7 or utilize our 24-Hour Live Chat.

*Dollars recovered are cumulative and not indicative of individual case results. Each case is unique.  Results depend on the facts and applicable law.

**Legal Services are provided by Montlick & Associates, P.C. and local associated law firms at no additional cost to you depending on the jurisdiction, and any specialized expertise required.  For more information, click here.

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.