Felonious Restraint in North Carolina

by | Nov 15, 2019 | Blog Posts, NC Criminal Defense

In North Carolina, felonious restraint is a Class F felony. This crime involves unlawfully restraining another person without consent and moving that person by transporting them in a vehicle or some other conveyance. To constitute felonious restraint, the restraint must occur without the person’s consent if they are over 16 or without that person’s parent’s consent if they are under 16. This crime is government by N.C.G.S. 14-43.3.

Like all of our blogs, this blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.


Felonious restraint is punished as a Class F felony and is sentenced according to North Carolina’s felony sentencing guidelines. While the maximum sentence for this crime is 33-59 months in prison, a person with a prior record level 1 that is sentenced in the presumptive range could face between 13-29 months in prison.

What about kidnapping?

Felonious restraint is similar to kidnapping and is a lesser included offense of kidnapping. Kidnapping is a different offense than felonious restraint, however, and the main difference involves the purpose of the act. Kidnapping involves the unlawful confinement, restraint, or removal of a person from one place to another for certain specific purposes, including, but not limited to, causing them serious bodily harm, human trafficking, facilitating the commission of a felony, or ransoming the person. Kidnapping is punished as either a Class C or Class E felony, depending on the circumstances.

What about false imprisonment?

Felonious restraint is a different crime than false imprisonment, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina and carries a maximum of 120 days imprisonment. In North Carolina, false imprisonment involves unlawfully restraining or detaining a person without that person’s consent. Unlike felonious restraint, false imprisonment need not involve transporting the alleged victim. Both crimes may involve either actual physical force or constructive force.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in North Carolina or South Carolina and you are seeking a criminal defense attorney, contact us to discuss your options.

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