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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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While 7 1/2 months pregnant with unmarried father, not living

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While 7 1/2 months pregnant with unmarried father, not living together: Went over to house and tried to leave: boyfriend was harassing, following me around with his face to my ear yelling things, blocked in my car. If I sat on the sofa he would lay in front of it. He kept blocking me. I called my parents to help me leave. My father tried to speak to him and he laughed at him on the phone. He was threatening and just overall creepy. My father came over and got me. Boyfriend left a few minutes before he came. Boyfriend's father kept calling him during this and kept telling him to let me go. Just one of many things he had done. Is this considered a crime and are the statute of limitations up? Occured in Feb 2013. We are now embroiled in a custody fight..he wants 50/50 but drinks and has been cited numerous times for public drumkeness. I am in PA. Thank you.

Good afternoon Ann,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

Yes, what happened was a crime under the laws of PA. It constituted the crime of False Imprisonment, and can be charged as a misdemeanor. The statute of limitations has not passed, and you may file a police report on the incident.

Here is the PA law:
§ 2903. False imprisonment. (a) Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he knowingly restrains another unlawfully so as to interfere substantially with his liberty. (b) Grading.-- (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), an offense under subsection (a) is a misdemeanor of the second degree. (2) If the victim of the offense is an individual under 18 years of age, an offense under subsection (a) is a felony of the second degree. (Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.721, No.98, eff. imd.)

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed.

I wish you the best in 2013,

Doug

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What is a misdemeanor of the second degree? Does it go on as a criminal charge? Will it go on his record?


What is the best way to file a police report to a police department that is understaffed? What type of info will they ask..is there a form that I fill out? Thank you!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What is the statute of limitations for false imprisonment in PA? Thank you

Good evening Ann,

 

You asked:

 

What is a misdemeanor of the second degree? It is a criminal charge. Does it go on as a criminal charge? Yes. Will it go on his record? Yes, if he is charged and convicted.


What is the best way to file a police report to a police department that is understaffed? Walk into the police station and tell them you want to file a complaint for False imprisonment What type of info will they ask..is there a form that I fill out? They will take your complaint---it is not a form.

What is the statute of limitations for false imprisonment in PA? 2 years.

Have a nice evening,

Doug
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Thank you for your positive rating of my service, Ann. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope than you will ask for me on JustAnswer should a future need ever arise.

Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:
http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thanks again.

Doug

When you receive your Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please do rate me highly (9-10) there as well. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have a couple more questions concerning this...

 

Within the same incident... on the way back to the house, he was driving erratically (swerving all over the road) and going at excessive speeds to "show me what happens" when I argue with him. I was terrified that we would wreck and, again, 7 months pregnant in a high risk pregnancy. I was begging him to stop and crying and he did not stop and stated "Are you scared now?? good that's what happens."

Is there a crime involved here?

 

I would also like to ask... since this is just my word against his, with no real physical evidence, aside from my parents as witnesses, is this worth pursuing?

 

There were text messages between us later that night that would show that it happened, however my phone automatically deletes texts after some time and I can't get to them anymore. So I really don't have anything to show for it.

 

Also, considering that we are in the middle of a custody battle, and this incident happened months ago... is it likely that the defendant can claim that I am just now filing this as a way to get a one-up in the custody case? I want to make sure that this can not end up hurting me in any way... he is very likely to lie and deny everything.

 

I regret not filing it sooner, I was under the false impression that since I did not file that night, it was too late. I would like him to have to deal with the consequences of what he did.

 

Thank you.

Good evening Ann,

You asked:

Within the same incident... on the way back to the house, he was driving erratically (swerving all over the road) and going at excessive speeds to "show me what happens" when I argue with him. I was terrified that we would wreck and, again, 7 months pregnant in a high risk pregnancy. I was begging him to stop and crying and he did not stop and stated "Are you scared now?? good that's what happens."

Is there a crime involved here? Unless you demanded to have him stop, and let you out, then there was no crime. However, if he would not stop and let you out after you asked, that would be e different crime. It would constitute Unlawful Restraint.


§ 2902. Unlawful restraint. (a) Offense defined.--A person commits an offense if he knowingly: (1) restrains another unlawfully in circumstances exposing him to risk of serious bodily injury; or (2) holds another in a condition of involuntary servitude. (b) Grading.-- (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), an offense under subsection (a) is a misdemeanor of the first degree. (2) If the victim of the offense is an individual under 18 years of age, an offense under subsection (a) is a felony of the second degree. (Dec. 30, 1974, P.L.1120, No.361, eff. imd.; Dec. 20, 2000, P.L.721, No.98, eff. imd.)

I would also like to ask... since this is just my word against his, with no real physical evidence, aside from my parents as witnesses, is this worth pursuing?

There were text messages between us later that night that would show that it happened, however my phone automatically deletes texts after some time and I can't get to them anymore. So I really don't have anything to show for it.

Also, considering that we are in the middle of a custody battle, and this incident happened months ago... is it likely that the defendant can claim that I am just now filing this as a way to get a one-up in the custody case? Yes, he could claim that, and it would arguably have some merit, I'm afraid. Normally people who are assaulted or against whom a crime has just been committed, report the crime immediately. When they don't, the authorities generally ask why not. I want to make sure that this can not end up hurting me in any way... he is very likely to lie and deny everything. Because you can't prove that it happened---it is your word against his---it may not be able to help you much.

I regret not filing it sooner, I was under the false impression that since I did not file that night, it was too late. I would like him to have to deal with the consequences of what he did.

The prosecutor may always file charges within the statute of limitations if they choose too. So it is not that legally, it is too late. But is does become a harder case to prove for the prosecutor the longer the time is that has elapsed.

Doug

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

 

I did not file immediately because 1. his family was "handling him," 2. I was in shock over it and afraid of him, 3. I was pregnant with his child and did not want to get him into huge trouble... he downplayed it and I wanted it to have not been as serious as it was and so I downplayed it too. But it stuck with me and it was wrong..... so... I think I can easily answer that question when asked.

 

I am not so much concerned that it will HELP my custody case, since they really are separate issues. I am concerned that he would be able to deny it all and turn it to use against me and that it will HURT me with the custody issues... trying to say that I made it up just because of the current custody things. Would that hold any merit if he tried to do that? Or will the court also see them as separate issues. If that makes sense.

 

It will be very upsetting to me if I pursue this and he gets all charges completely dropped. The point is that he would receive some justice for what he did, at least a little. Is it likely from your experience that if it was just our word and he denied it... that charges would be completely dropped? I have not had any experiences even close to this to judge what may happen.

 

Basically... even if it won't help my custody case, if it couldn't hurt me there either then I want to press the charges. However, if he will likely get relieved of everything due to lack of physical evidence, then it will be a big headache waste of time with a result that would be emotionally difficult to deal with as a victim of abuse.

 

I understand that it is a serious thing to file criminal charges and just want to make sure that I am informed, and that the timing of it would not effect my stance in the custody case... which is currently in my favor for many reasons.

Hi Ann,

You asked: Would that hold any merit if he tried to do that? No, it would not.

Is it likely from your experience that if it was just our word and he denied it... that charges would be completely dropped? Yes, it is.

I wish you a good nighr Ann.

Doug
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