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New York Penal Law 135.10: Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree

Unlawful imprisonment refers to detaining someone without any legal authority or against that person’s will. It occurs when an individual prevents a person from leaving a room, vehicle, house or any other area. There are two types of unlawful imprisonment in New York Penal Law. The first one involves unlawful imprisonment in the first degree. The other one is unlawful imprisonment in the second degree. A person is said to be guilty of unlawful imprisonment in the first degree when he restrains someone under circumstances that expose the latter to the risk of a serious physical harm. Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree is a class E felony and attracts up to four years in prison. The word restrain in the Penal Law is defined as intentionally and unlawfully retracting the movement of another person against his will.

Example of Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree

Ruth, a resident of Manhattan, went to a club on a Friday evening to relax after a long week of hard work. While she was sitting alone at the corner of the restaurant, a young man approached him. His name was Donald. He introduced himself and the two quickly got used to each other. They talked for several hours, joking and laughing about their workmates and life. Donald then invited Ruth to accompany him to his house and she agreed. They arrived at the house, cooked some food and watched a movie. Ruth woke up early the next morning and told Donald she wanted to go back to her house. Donald quickly locked the door and told her to stay until Monday. Ruth did not agree and decided to force herself out. Donald reached for a gun and threatened to shoot her if she persisted. Ruth waited until Donald was in the bathroom and jumped out though the balcony, injuring herself in the process.

This is a classic case of unlawful imprisonment in the first degree. Donald could be charged with wrongfully detaining Ruth and causing her to sustain injuries.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
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21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
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I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
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Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
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20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
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01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

Defenses to the penal code

A prosecutor must show that you indeed imprisoned someone without his or her will and that the person was actually unable to leave. The prosecutor will do some research on his own to determine the facts surrounding the incident. This may involve interviewing the victim to get his side of the story or requesting for surveillance footage of the place.

There are many ways you can defend yourself against such accusations. For instance, if you locked someone in a room with an open window, you may have a valid defense against a charge of unlawful detention. You can also defend yourself by convincing the judge that the victim was not in any danger of a serious physical injury at that time. For example, if you pointed a gun at the person to prevent him from leaving, but the gun was actually a toy, you may have some valid defense.

Hiring a Lawyer

Defending yourself against unlawful imprisonment charge is your basic right. However, it is unwise to go at it alone due to several legal risks and obstacles present. You need to hire a NYC criminal lawyer to help protect your rights and create a strong defense. A lawyer has studied and trained in understanding every aspect of criminal law in New York. He knows the right approach to take to help you win the case and protect you against heavy penalties.

Before you hire a lawyer, make sure he has several years of experience dealing with unlawful imprisonment cases. Also, make sure he has a high rate of success in his works.

New York Penal Law 135.05: Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree

In New York, it is illegal to purposely restrain another person. When you restrain somebody else even though you don’t have the legal right to, you are committing unlawful imprisonment, which is a crime. Even if you are not particularly violent towards the person, you can still be charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree. Typically, unlawful imprisonment includes a physical restraint – locking a person in a room or tying them to a piece of furniture, for example.

Defining Restraint

According to New York law, the word “restrain” refers to when a person’s movements are restricted so that they cannot move from one place to another. This can include confining the person or forcing them to move to another location where they are also restricted. Though physical force is sometimes used, it doesn’t have to be present. The victim may be intimated or deceived instead of hurt or handled physically. To fully understand how “restrain” is defined in New York, refer to penal law § 135.00(1), which discusses the intentional and unlawful restriction of a person.

Example of Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree

Mike breaks into the house of a stranger, intending to rob it when nobody is home. While he is searching the house for items to take, the owner of the home returns. Mike takes the owner of the home, pushes him into a bedroom and ties him to a chair. He then shuts the bedroom door behind him and moves a big piece of furniture in front of it so he can’t get out. Mike then leaves the house. Since he prevented the owner from leaving the bedroom, Mike can be charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree.

Unlawful Imprisonment Sentence

Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree is considered a class A misdemeanor. This crime comes with a maximum sentence of one year in jail. As an alternative to jail time, the judge may opt for a sentence of three years of probation.

Defenses Against Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree

If you are dealing with an unlawful imprisonment charge, a NYC criminal lawyer can help. It’s possible that your defense will be that the person was not truly restrained. If the person should have been able to get out of the restraint, your defense may be that the person could have escaped with just a little bit of effort. Even if the person did not escape, if it was possible that they could, your lawyer may be able to argue that defense.

Related Offenses

Related offenses are unlawful imprisonment in the first degree and kidnapping in both the first and second degree. The language between these offenses can be similar, which is why it requires a professional criminal attorney to assess the nuances of your case. For example, the primary difference between a kidnapping charge and an unlawful imprisonment charge is the word “abduct.” In kidnapping, an abduction occurs, while in unlawful imprisonment, restraint, not abduction, occurs. If you’re being charged with kidnapping even though you should be charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, you’ll want a criminal lawyer to work on your behalf.

If you’ve been charged with unlawful imprisonment, it’s important to contact a criminal attorney right away. Legal guidance is necessary in order to maximize your options and reduce your sentence as much as possible.

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