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NY Penal Law § 135.05: Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree

It is against the law to intentionally restrain another person without having the legal right to do so. If you do restrain a person you would have committed the crime of unlawful imprisonment. Unlawful imprisonment typically involves using some sort of physical restraint such as tying someone to a chair or locking someone in a closet. However, the use of violence is not required to be charged with unlawful imprisonment. Under New York Penal Law § 135.05, you could be prosecuted for unlawful imprisonment in the second degree if you unlawfully restrain another person. The term "restrain" is defined in New York Penal Law § 135.00(1) as intentionally and unlawfully restricting the movement of another person. The restriction must be substantial.


Chuck broke into Carole's house and started to look for things to steal. Carole arrives home and finds Chuck going through her things. Chuck grabs Carole, ties her ankles and hands, and throws her into a closet. He puts a chair in front of the closet door. Chuck then flees from the house. Chuck could be prosecuted for unlawful imprisonment since he restrained Carole to prevent her from leaving.

Related Offenses
  1. Unlawful imprisonment in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 135.10
  2. Kidnapping in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 135.20
  3. Kidnapping in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 135.25

If you face a charge of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, a possible defense is that the person was not really restrained. For example, if the person was retrained in such a way that it would be easy for that person to escape, you may have a valid argument that the person was not imprisoned as they could leave with minimal effort.


Unlawful imprisonment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. The maximum possible jail sentence is 1 year. In lieu of being sentenced to jail, the judge may opt to sentence to you to a 3 year probation term.

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

A person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment in the second degree when he restrains another person.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you have been charged with unlawful imprisonment in the second degree, it is important that you immediately seek experienced legal guidance. The potential consequence of being convicted is that you could end up spending several years in prison. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with kidnapping, assault, stalking, and other serious crimes. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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