2009 California Penal Code - Section 236-237 :: Chapter 8. False Imprisonment

SECTION 236-237

236.  False imprisonment is the unlawful violation of the personal
liberty of another.

236.1.  (a) Any person who deprives or violates the personal liberty
of another with the intent to effect or maintain a felony violation
of Section 266, 266h, 266i, 267, 311.4, or 518, or to obtain forced
labor or services, is guilty of human trafficking.
   (b)  Except as provided in subdivision (c), a violation of this
section is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three,
four, or five years.
   (c) A violation of this section where the victim of the
trafficking was under 18 years of age at the time of the commission
of the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for
four, six, or eight years.
   (d) (1) For purposes of this section, unlawful deprivation or
violation of the personal liberty of another includes substantial and
sustained restriction of another's liberty accomplished through
fraud, deceit, coercion, violence, duress, menace, or threat of
unlawful injury to the victim or to another person, under
circumstances where the person receiving or apprehending the threat
reasonably believes that it is likely that the person making the
threat would carry it out.
   (2) Duress includes knowingly destroying, concealing, removing,
confiscating, or possessing any actual or purported passport or
immigration document of the victim.
   (e) For purposes of this section, "forced labor or services" means
labor or services that are performed or provided by a person and are
obtained or maintained through force, fraud, or coercion, or
equivalent conduct that would reasonably overbear the will of the
   (f) The Legislature finds that the definition of human trafficking
in this section is equivalent to the federal definition of a severe
form of trafficking found in Section 7102(8) of Title 22 of the
United States Code.

236.2.  Law enforcement agencies shall use due diligence to identify
all victims of human trafficking, regardless of the citizenship of
the person. When a peace officer comes into contact with a person who
has been deprived of his or her personal liberty, a person suspected
of violating subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 647, or a victim of a
crime of domestic violence or rape, the peace officer shall consider
whether the following indicators of human trafficking are present:
   (a) Signs of trauma, fatigue, injury, or other evidence of poor
   (b) The person is withdrawn, afraid to talk, or his or her
communication is censored by another person.
   (c) The person does not have freedom of movement.
   (d) The person lives and works in one place.
   (e) The person owes a debt to his or her employer.
   (f) Security measures are used to control who has contact with the
   (g) The person does not have control over his or her own
government-issued identification or over his or her worker
immigration documents.

236.5.  (a) Within 15 business days of the first encounter with a
victim of human trafficking, as defined by Section 236.1, law
enforcement agencies shall provide brief letters that satisfy the
following Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) endorsement regulations as
found in paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 214.11 of Title
8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
   (b) The LEA must be submitted on Supplement B, Declaration of Law
Enforcement Officer for Victim of Trafficking in Persons, of Form
I-914. The LEA endorsement must be filled out completely in
accordance with the instructions contained on the form and must
attach the results of any name or database inquiry performed. In
order to provide persuasive evidence, the LEA endorsement must
contain a description of the victimization upon which the application
is based, including the dates the trafficking in persons and
victimization occurred, and be signed by a supervising official
responsible for the investigation or prosecution of trafficking in
persons. The LEA endorsement must address whether the victim had been
recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained specifically
for either labor or services, or for the purposes of a commercial
sex act.
   (c) Where state law enforcement agencies find the grant of a LEA
endorsement to be inappropriate for a victim of trafficking in
persons, the agency shall within 15 days provide the victim with a
letter explaining the grounds of the denial of the LEA. The victim
may submit additional evidence to the law enforcement agency, which
must reconsider the denial of the LEA within one week of the receipt
of additional evidence.

237.  (a) False imprisonment is punishable by a fine not exceeding
one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail
for not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. If
the false imprisonment be effected by violence, menace, fraud, or
deceit, it shall be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison.
   (b) False imprisonment of an elder or dependent adult by use of
violence, menace, fraud, or deceit shall be punishable as described
in subdivision (f) of Section 368.

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