New Jersey False Imprisonment Law

We represent clients charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:13-3; New Jersey False Imprisonment complaints in central New Jersey municipalities including East Brunswick, New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, Old Bridge, North Brunswick, South Brunswick, South River, Monroe and Sayreville.

Under New Jersey false imprisonment law a violation is committed if a defendant knowingly unlawfully restrains another so as to substantially interfere with his or her liberty.

False Imprisonment is a disorderly persons offense.

In egregious cases, these matters are handled as kidnapping which is an indictable offense.


A person convicted of this offense is subject to a fine of up to $1000 plus assessments to Victims of Crime Compensation Board and to the Safe Neighborhood Services Fund of approximately $125.

Although a person convicted of this offense who has not been previously convicted of an offense is entitled to a presumption of non-incarceration, defendant may be sentenced up to six months in jail.

If a motor vehicle was used in the course of committing the offense, the court may suspend the defendant's driver's license up to two years.

If the defendant holds a public office, a conviction may result in forfeiture of office.


Provided defendant has not been convicted of more than three disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses, or defendant has not been convicted of an indictable offense, he or she may have their conviction expunged five years after sentence is carried out.

Statute of Limitations

Prosecution must be commenced within 1 year after the offense is committed.

Prosecution commences when a warrant or other process such as a summons or complaint is issued.


The complaint must be dismissed if the person restrained was a minor child, the actor was a relative or legal guardian of the child, and the sole purpose was to assume control of the child.

Additionally, defendant may argue that he or she acted under good faith belief that they had a duty to restrain the individual or the interference was not substantial so as to warrant a conviction under this statute.

If this fails as a defense at the very least it should be used as mitigating factors during sentencing.

Other mitigating factors may include the length of time of the restraint and the nature and extent of the restraint.

If a dismissal is not attainable then the next best possible outcome would be a plea to a municipal ordinance, which will preclude one from sustaining the stigma that an offense attaches to one's record.

However, defendant will be fined by the Court, although fines for municipal ordinances are lower than are fines for disorderly persons offenses.

If you have any questions for a New Jersey criminal defense attorney about a New Jersey false imprisonment charge, please do not hesitate to contact us.