Nevada "False Imprisonment" Laws (NRS 200.460)
Explained by Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorneys

A conviction for false imprisonment in Nevada can carry lengthy prison times even if no injuries occurred.  And future employers may choose not to hire you once they see any criminal activity on your background check.

Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers have a long track record of negotiating and litigating cases in our clients' favor.  To read more about the Nevada crime of false imprisonment including the law, potential penalties and defenses, scroll down . . . .


The legal definition of "false imprisonment" in Las Vegas, Nevada, is "an unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another, and consists in confinement or detention without sufficient legal authority."  (NRS 200.460)

In other words, false imprisonment is any illegal deprivation of another's freedom of movement.  False imprisonment may occur indoors, outdoors or in a moving vehicle, and it does not require the use of weapons or threats.  Even using another person as a human shield may qualify as false imprisonment.

Note that holding a person for ransom in Las Vegas is prosecuted not as false imprisonment but rather as the Nevada crime of kidnapping.  Also note that law enforcement may legally confine someone if they have probable cause to believe that person was involved in criminal activity.


Various defenses exist that may prove very effective in fighting a charge of the Las Vegas offense of false imprisonment.  The following are just a few of the ways of fighting the charges:

  • Self-defense. Nevada self-defense law permits everyone to use reasonable force in defense of themselves and others if they reasonably believe they're about to sustain immediate bodily harm.  If your attorney can demonstrate that your act of confining another person was out of lawful self-defense, your false imprisonment case should be dismissed.
  • Consent. A person is liable for false imprisonment only if the "victim" was confined against their will.  If the alleged "victim" in your case in fact agreed to be detained or confined, then you committed no crime.
  • Parental rights. Parents have the right to discipline their children in ways that restrict their freedom of movement such as "grounding" them or imposing "time outs."  As long as the children don't sustain injuries or undue suffering, a parent confining their children against their will is perfectly legal.

The punishment for a violation of Las Vegas false imprisonment law depends on the circumstances of the case.  An allegation of false imprisonment without use of a deadly weapon is only a gross misdemeanor in Nevada carrying:

  • up to 364 days in jail, and/or
  • up to $2,000 in fines

But if the defendant allegedly used a deadly weapon when committing false imprisonment, the state will prosecute it as a category B felony in Las Vegas carrying 1 to 6 years in Nevada State Prison.

Human Shield or Avoiding Arrest

If the defendant is accused of committing false imprisonment by using the alleged victim to avoid arrest or as a shield, the defendant faces charges for a category B felony in Las Vegas carrying 1 to 15 years in Nevada State Prison.


An inmate in lawful custody who commits false imprisonment may be charged with a category B felony in Las Vegas.  If he/she uses a deadly weapon, the sentence is 1 to 20 years in Nevada State Prison.  Otherwise the sentence is 1 to 6 years.

Charged with a crime?  Call us. . . .

If you've been accused of false imprisonment under NRS 200.460, phone 702-DEFENSE (702-333-3673).  Our Las Vegas criminal defense lawyers are happy to talk for free about whether we may be able to get your case reduced to lesser charges or even dismissed outright.  And if it comes to it, we're also ready to fight for your innocence at trial.

To learn about California false imprisonment laws, go to our informational article on California false imprisonment laws under Penal Code 236 PC

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