Kidnapping is a serious charge in Texas, and convictions can result in imprisonment, fines, and other consequences. There are several types of kidnapping charges that vary in severity. Unfortunately, kidnapping charges are often the result of a misunderstanding or an error in judgment with no intent to commit a crime.
If you have been charged with kidnapping in Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will vigorously defend the claims against you. Attorneys at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, know that there is a lot at stake when you have been charged with kidnapping, and they can help. Keep reading to learn more about different types of kidnapping charges in Texas.
Under Texas law, unlawful restraint occurs when you knowingly or intentionally restrain another person. Restrain means to restrict a person’s movement by confining them or moving them from one place to another without their consent. Unlawful restraint can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.
Kidnapping And Aggravated Kidnapping
Kidnapping is a 3rd-degree felony and is defined as knowingly or intentionally abducting another person. To prove kidnapping, the prosecutor must be able to show that the defendant restrained a person with the intent to prevent the victim’s liberation by holding the victim in a place where they are unlikely to be found or by threatening to use deadly force.
Kidnapping can be elevated to an aggravated kidnapping charge when certain circumstances exist. For example, you can be charged with aggravated kidnapping if you used a deadly weapon to carry out the crime or held the victim for ransom or reward. An aggravated kidnapping conviction is a 1st or 2nd-degree felony.
Other Crimes Related To Kidnapping
Other crimes related to kidnapping include smuggling of persons, continuous smuggling of persons, and operation of a stash house. In general, smuggling of persons involves transporting one or more people to conceal or help them flee from authorities.
You can be charged with continuously smuggling of persons when you smuggle people two or more times for more than ten days. Operation of a stash house involves using or permitting another to use your property to commit kidnapping or a related crime.
Additionally, kidnapping crimes can be charged at the federal level. The federal government often prosecutes kidnapping when the abduction involves crossing state lines or when a parent tries to leave the country with a child illegally. Federal kidnapping convictions can result in severe penalties, such as life imprisonment or the death penalty if someone is killed during the commission of the crime.
Contact A Houston Kidnapping Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with unlawful restraint or kidnapping in Texas, contact a Houston kidnapping defense attorney at Vinas & Graham, PLLC. Schedule a confidential and private consultation by calling 712-229-9992 or submitting an online form.
Our attorneys defend clients who have been charged with kidnapping crimes at the state and federal levels. Follow us on Facebook for more information about our law firm and Texas criminal law updates.