A person commits unlawful imprisonment by knowingly restraining another person. Restraining another person means to physically restrict their movement by force or other means.
The crime of false imprisonment does not require extreme conduct; it could be as simple as refusing to let someone out of a vehicle or preventing them from leaving a residence (even if only briefly). Obviously, extreme or violent methods of restraint (i.e., physically tying someone up) will result in much harsher penalties.
False imprisonment does not require any physical contact, words alone through threats of harm are sufficient (i.e., threatening the victim that they will be physically harmed if they attempt to leave). Anytime a victim feels that they are being prevented from leaving or that they are not free to leave, a charge of false imprisonment may arise.
Unlawful imprisonment in Arizona can be considered a misdemeanor or a felony. If considered a felony the penalties will range widely depending on the person’s criminal history and the facts that led up to the charge. If it is a misdemeanor charge the penalties could range up to 6 months jail, large fines, and 3 years’ probation.