Kidnapping and Unlawful Restraint in Texas
Although kidnapping is always a felony, there are degrees of seriousness in kidnapping charges that may cause it to be tried as a federal crime or in state court. Unlawful restraint is the intentional restraining of another person, but is not kidnapping. In certain circumstances, unlawful restraint may be regarded as a misdemeanor. Abduction with the intention to hold for ransom or facilitate flight such as using the victim as a hostage or shield is Aggravated Kidnapping, and may result in 20 years in prison and severe fines. Penalties may be greater or decreased depending upon other factors such as injury intended or suffered by the victim. For a complete understanding of charges faced by you or a loved one, it is wise to consult a criminal defense attorney.
About Kidnapping Charges
The dynamics of families and relationships can sometimes be complicated emotionally and legally. While a disagreement between spouses or partners can be serious, when children become involved matters can escalate much further. A person who removes their child from their home without consent of the other spouse, or outside their legal times of possession, may not realize that he or she could be charged with kidnapping. These are very serious charges and if you face them after such an incident, you will need the assistance of a knowledgeable Houston domestic violence lawyer with a history of successfully defending charges of kidnapping in domestic cases.
At its root, kidnapping is defined simply as the act of intentionally abducting a person. When a family member removes a child from the home to an undisclosed location – even with the minor’s consent – and does not have sole legal custody, they can face kidnapping charges. This can occur even when one parent removes a child or children from possible harm and domestic violence or other situation. Criminal charges can be filed and consequences such as imprisonment could be the result when convicted of parental kidnapping.
Facing kidnapping charges in Houston?
We at Chernoff Law are keenly aware of the sensitivity involved in domestic violence matters and in custody disputes. Our attorneys are uniquely prepared to assist you should you face parental kidnapping charges, as our team includes an attorney who is certified in criminal law by the state of Texas. Our experience and prowess within these fields can be of critical use in your defense, as can our full commitment to your best interests and legal care.
How to Handle Kidnapping Charges
Sometimes an ordinarily law abiding person makes a mistake. During or after a divorce when emotions run high, a false accusation may be made out of spite or as a result of a misunderstanding. A non-custodial parent may be accused of kidnapping. Sometimes victims of domestic violence flee with children to protect them from further violence. Law enforcement investigators can misinterpret a person’s actions. If you think you may be charged with kidnapping, contact us immediately. An experienced lawyer at our firm may be able to prevent prosecution or arrange a reduced charge.
Because of the severity of the charges involved, a thorough investigation into the circumstances of your charges may be necessary. Our firm’s founding attorney is Board-Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. We explore all possible avenues when building your defense, so call Chernoff Law for a consultation at no fee.