While most people understand what kidnapping means, they do not understand that it can take place between family members as well. No matter the scenario, unlawfully removing a child from their home is a serious offense that carries serious penalties. If you have been accused of kidnapping, it is important to understand that this will not be something you can explain away. You need the help of an experienced Plano criminal defense lawyer. With over 20 years of experience and numerous professional accolades, the Wilder Law Firm is the team you can trust for quality legal service.
As defined by Texas state law, the crime of kidnapping has occurred when an individual intentionally or knowingly abducts another individual.
It is considered to be an affirmative defense if:
In the case of this offense, the charge would likely be considered a felony in the third degree.
In Texas, there is also a statute detailing the crime of aggravated kidnapping. This crime is considered to be more severe than regular kidnapping and is when an individual intentionally or knowingly abducts another individual.
There must be intent to:
Another action that will cause the charge to be aggravated kidnapping is when an individual intentionally or knowingly abducts another individual and uses or showcases a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense. In most cases, this offense is considered a First Degree felony.
Related to kidnapping are the crimes of smuggling and unlawful restraint. Smuggling is when an individual uses a motor vehicle to transport another individual with the intent to hide them from a law enforcement officer. In this case, the offense is charged as a State Jail felony.
However, the charge is increased to a third-degree felony if the individual executes the act in order to gain a pecuniary interest or the act is committed in a way that creates a substantial likelihood that the individual will suffer serious bodily injury or death.
Unlawful restraint is found to have occurred when an individual intentionally or knowingly restrains another individual.
One common defense offered in conjunction with this charge is that:
Under these factors, a defendant is usually charged with a Class A misdemeanor. However, the charge is increased to a State Jail felony if the individual restrained was under 17 years old.
A Second Degree felony charge is appropriate when the defendant puts the victim at risk for serious bodily injury, the restrained individual is a public servant, or the defendant restrains another while in custody.
These matters are complicated. If you are being charged with a crime, do not hesitate to get the help of our team. We can help you understand the challenges you face and the legal options you have available.