False imprisonment

False imprisonment is a very serious offence that will normally mean that you serve a prison term if you are found guilty.

This charge is generally laid in situations where a person holds someone against their will.

In essence to prove this charge the Prosecution must show that an accused intentionally and unlawfully restrained the liberty of another person against his or her will.

Defences to this charge can include a factual dispute, a lack of intent, or lawful excuse.

This is a strictly indictable charge which means that your case must be heard in the County Court.

You should ring us and discuss your case if you have been charged.

Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has huge consequences for you and should be made after proper discussion with a criminal lawyer.

This legislation comes from section 320 of the Crimes Act 1958.


Further information on False imprisonment

Possible Defences

In a case of False imprisonment, the following defences may be applicable to the charge:

  • Lack of Intent
  • Factual Dispute and Concept of Beyond Reasonable Doubt
  • Lawful Intent


What penalties can be imposed for a charge of False imprisonment?

  • Deferral of Sentencing
  • Diversion
  • Without Conviction Order
  • Adjournment of the Charges on Undertaking (Good Behaviour Bond)
  • Fine
  • Community Corrections Order
  • Suspended Prison Sentence
  • Term of Imprisonment


What is the legislation for the charge of False imprisonment?

The legislation for this offence can be found on section 320 of Crimes Act 1958.

Case Studies

Media Articles

Further Info

Links to further information about the charge of False imprisonment:

You may also visit this page to view sentencing decisions by Victorian County Courts for the offence of False Imprisonment.


Need further legal advice on this charge?
Contact one of our solicitors specialising in cases of False Imprisonment, Shaun Pascoe.