Houston Kidnapping Defense Attorney
Unlawful Restraint Defense Lawyer in the City of Houston, TX, Represents Clients Charged with Kidnapping Offenses in Harris County, Fort Bend County, Montgomery County, and Throughout Texas
Are you facing charges of kidnapping or unlawful restraint? You don’t have to face the criminal justice system alone. An experienced Houston kidnapping defense attorney from Chernoff Law can help you protect your freedom, reputation, and future. I am attorney Ed Chernoff. I’ve practiced criminal law for over 35 years on both sides of the courtroom, including five years as a top prosecutor in the Harris County DA’s office. But for the past 30 years, I’ve dedicated myself to advocating for the interests of people facing criminal prosecution. I have helped thousands of clients and taken more than 150 cases to a jury trial with a proven record of success.
Reach out to my criminal defense firm for a free case evaluation with an unlawful restraint defense lawyer in the City of Houston, TX, if you have been arrested and charged with kidnapping or unlawful restraint. I can help you better understand your legal options and answer your questions about what to expect in the criminal justice process.
Facing Criminal Charges in Texas and Have Questions? I’m Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Ed Chernoff, And I Can Protect You. Call My Office Today at 713-222-9141 or Fill Out My Online Contact Form For a Free Consultation About Your Case.
What Is Kidnapping?
Section 20.03 of Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code contains Texas’s kidnapping statute. It states that a crime of kidnapping occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly abducts another person. Texas law defines “abduct” as restraining a person with intent to prevent their liberal movement by holding them in a place where they are not likely to be found or using or threatening the use of deadly force.
Section 20.04 contains Texas’s aggravated kidnapping statute, defining the offense as intentionally or knowingly abducting a person with the intent to:
- Hold them for ransom
- Use them as a shield or hostage
- Facilitate the commission of a felony or flight after a felony or attempted felony
- Inflict bodily injury or commit sexual abuse
- Terrorize the person or a third person
- Interfere with the performance of governmental or political functions
Aggravated kidnapping also occurs when a person abducts another person and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the offense.
What Is Unlawful Restraint?
Section 20.02 of Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code is the state’s unlawful restraint statute. It defines the crime as intentionally or knowingly restraining another person. The law defines “restrain” as restricting a person’s movements without their consent by moving them from one place to another or confining them. Restraint occurs “without consent” if it involves:
- Force, intimidation, or deception
- Any means to obtain the acquiescence of a minor victim when the victim’s parent or guardian has not consented to the victim’s confinement or movement
I don’t have the words to express how grateful we are for Mr. Chernoff and his team. They always kept us updated and were available for any questions we had. They were able to obtain the best possible outcome. I would definitely use him again and highly recommend him.
Ed saved my life and career. Incredible lawyer if you’re in trouble.
He put my fears at ease and helped me get my case dismissed and my life back on track. I would highly recommend hiring Ed and letting him do the same for you.
Penalties for a Conviction for Kidnapping or Unlawful Restraint
The penalties for a conviction for kidnapping or unlawful restraint depend on the grade of the offense. Unlawful restraint is normally graded as a Class A misdemeanor, although the grading may be increased to a state jail felony if the victim was a minor, and to a third-degree felony if the victim was recklessly exposed to a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or the victim was a public servant unlawfully restrained in retaliation for the discharge of their duties. Unlawful restraint may be charged as a second-degree felony if the victim is a peace officer or judge and the restraint occurs in retaliation for the exercise of their duties.
Kidnapping is graded as a third-degree offense, while aggravated kidnapping is normally graded as a first-degree felony, although the charge may be downgraded to a second-degree felony if a defendant proves they voluntarily released the victim in a safe place.
Penalties for conviction may include:
- Class A misdemeanor: Jail term of up to one year, and/or a fine of up to $4,000
- State jail felony: State jail term of 180 days to two years, and a potential fine of up to $10,000
- Third-degree felony: Imprisonment for two to 10 years, and a potential fine of up to $10,000
- Second-degree felony: Imprisonment for two to 20 years, and a potential fine of up to $10,000
- First-degree felony: Imprisonment for life, or a term of 5 to 99 years, and a potential fine of up to $10,000
Chernoff Law is Committed to Answering Your Questions. I Offer a Free Consultation and I’ll Gladly Discuss Your Case With You at Your Convenience. Contact Me Today to Schedule an Appointment.
Turn to a Houston Kidnapping Defense Attorney from Chernoff Law to Help You Secure a Favorable Resolution to Your Charges
If you were arrested and charged with kidnapping or aggressive kidnapping, you need legal help from an experienced unlawful restraint lawyer in the City of Houston, TX, who will:
- Independently investigate your charges to ensure you have all the available evidence for your defense
- Discuss your legal options with you so that you are informed as you make decisions in your case
- Identify appropriate defense strategies
- Protect your rights by moving to exclude evidence unlawfully obtained by the police and prosecutors
- Fight for the best possible result in your case at every turn, including moving to reduce or dismiss your charges, negotiate a favorable plea deal if appropriate, or advocate on your behalf at trial
Contact an Unlawful Restraint Lawyer in the City of Houston, TX, to Discuss Your Legal Options
Don’t leave the resolution of your kidnapping or unlawful restraint charges to chance. Contact Chernoff Law today for a confidential consultation to learn more about how a Houston kidnapping defense attorney can help you pursue a favorable resolution to your kidnapping or unlawful restraint charges.
Houston Kidnapping Defense Attorney Answers Frequently Asked Questions about Kidnapping and Unlawful Restraint
I suggest that you should not agree to give a statement to investigators or answer their questions until you have first consulted with a criminal defense attorney about talking to law enforcement. Police investigators and prosecutors have training in interrogating suspects and asking questions that are designed to get suspects to make incriminating statements or confess to crimes they have committed. Don’t assume that you can talk your way out of criminal charges. I can help you understand the consequences of agreeing to talk to the police and prepare you to give a statement or answer questions.
FAQ: When will I be released from jail following my arrest? If you have been arrested for felony kidnapping or unlawful restraint, you can expect to be brought before a magistrate within 48 hours of your arrest for a bail determination. If you do not have a bail hearing within 48 hours, you may be able to post a bond, usually not more than $10,000, to obtain your release. I can also help potentially speed up your release from jail by filing a motion to set a bond.