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False Imprisonment of a Hostage to Avoid Arrest PC 210.5

Aug 14, 2020 | California

California Penal Code 210.5 False Imprisonment of a Hostage to Avoid Arrest

According to California Penal Code Section 210.5 False Imprisonment of a Hostage to Avoid Arrest, it is illegal to falsely imprison another person for the purposes of using him as a human shield or trying to avoid arrest, thereby increasing the risk of harm to that person.

Elements of Crimes Involved With PC 210.5 False Imprisonment of a Hostage to Avoid Arrest

The prosecutor must be able to establish the following elements to convict the defendant under California PC Section 210.5:

  • Defendant faced a risk or threat of imminent arrest
  • Defendant confined restrained or detained another person by force or threat of force
  • Defendant intended to protect himself against the threat of imminent arrest by restraining another person
  • Defendant made another person go or stay somewhere against that person’s will
  • Defendant either intended to use another person as a shield or substantially increased the risk of psychological or physical harm to that person.

Legal Defenses to California PC 210.5 charges

  • The victim wasn’t falsely imprisoned

In case the defendant had the alleged victim’s prior consent to restrain or confine him, then he can’t face criminal charges under PC Section 210.5. The defendant must act against another person’s will for being convicted of false imprisonment of a hostage.

  • The victim didn’t face any increased chance of harm or injury

One of the elements of false imprisonment of a hostage crime is subjecting a victim to an increased risk of harm or injury. In case the defendant had no means to actually harm the victim, even if he threatened it, he may be able to skip a PC Section 210.5 conviction.

  • The defendant was forced to falsely imprison the victim

In some cases, false imprisonment situations are very complicated. In case the defendant was forced by another person to falsely imprison a hostage then he may be able to build a legal defense to the PC Section 210.5 charges.

Penalties for Falsely Imprisoning Another Person to Avoid Arrest California PC 210.5

Under California Penal Code Section 210.5 falsely imprisoning another person to avoid arrest is a felony, punishable by:

  • Three, five, or eight years in county jail.

The defendant can also face additional penalties such as fines, criminal restitution to the victim, the increased penalty for future crimes, the possibility of facing civil lawsuits, adverse consequences for immigration, or professional license issues.

Defendant may qualify for a probation sentence, a suspended sentence, or a split sentence. The probation mainly depends on the case facts as well as the defendant’s criminal history.

If found guilty under California Penal Code Section 210.5 the defendant will be entitled to earn up to 50 percent credit off of his sentence for good behavior.

Additionally, depending on the facts of the case defendant can be charged with the following crimes in connection with falsely imprisoning another to avoid arrest:

  • California Penal Code Sections 236, 237: Felony or Misdemeanor False Imprisonment
  • California Penal Code Sections 209(a), 209(b): Kidnapping
  • California Penal Code Sections 664, 210.5, 236 : Attempted False Imprisonment of Hostage
  • California Penal Code Section 211: Robbery
  • California Penal Code Sections 242, 243: Battery
  • California Penal Code Section 4503 Holding a Hostage