False Imprisonment and the Crime of Robbery

          Before someone can be lawfully convicted of both false imprisonment and robbery, it must be proven that the movement or confinement associated with the false imprisonment was not "slight, inconsequential, and merely incidental" to the robbery.  Such movement is considered slight and inconsequential when it is necessary or intertwined with the commission of the robbery.


          In the case of Russell v. State of Florida, Mr. Russell was convicted of false imprisonment and robbery with a deadly weapon based on the following facts:


"On August 7, 2001, around 7:00 in the morning, a drive-through convenience store clerk was working in his store. He went outside to check on an ice machine. As he began heading back inside through the western door, he saw two men with masks running toward the eastern door. One man was holding a shovel handle and the other man was holding a machete. They were yelling at the clerk to open the safe. The clerk started to back up, but he fell. The masked men grabbed him by his shoulders and pulled him inside the store to the safe. The clerk opened the safe, then the cash drawer, and the two men put the money in a brown paper bag. One of the men was later identified as Charles Russell."


          Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed Russell’s conviction because:


          1.  The clerk was not confined any longer than the time it took for the robbery to occur; and


          2.  His confinement was merely incidental to the underlying robbery.

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