Fort Worth Kidnapping Lawyer
Under Texas and federal law, kidnapping is a crime that carries significant consequences and penalties. That is why you need to consult with a Fort Worth kidnapping lawyer if you have been charged with this crime.
Our dedicated attorneys can advocate for your rights throughout the legal process. We can work with you to help you create a thorough defense that aims to protect your rights and seek the best possible outcome.
Kidnapping in Fort Worth
If all aspects of the alleged kidnapping occurred within the borders of Texas, it will generally be prosecuted as a state crime. If, however, the alleged crime crossed state lines, then it may be prosecuted as a federal crime.
Texas has two different classifications for this offense: kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping. Kidnapping, as per Texas Penal Code § 20.03, occurs when someone intentionally or knowingly abducts another person.
Aggravated Kidnapping per Texas Penal Code § 20.04, is a bit more complicated. According to the Code, a person commits this crime if they intentionally or knowingly abduct another person with the intent to:
- Hold the person for ransom or reward
- Use a person as a shield or hostage
- Facilitate the commission of a felony or an escape after the commission of a felony
- Inflict bodily injury or abuse the alleged victim sexually
- Terrorize a person or a third party
- Interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
- A person also commits this crime if they intentionally or knowingly abduct another person and allegedly uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the kidnapping
In Texas, the statute of limitations for kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping is generally five years. If, however, the alleged crime involved a young child, it is possible that there will not be any time limit in which an alleged perpetrator can be prosecuted.
Punishments for these Charges
In Texas, the crime of kidnapping is a third-degree felony. As such, it is punishable by a sentence of two to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Aggravated kidnapping is a first-degree felony in Texas and is punishable by a sentence of five to 99 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If, however, the alleged kidnapper voluntarily releases their victim in a safe location, they may have their charges lowered to a second-degree felony. This is punishable with a sentence of two to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $10,000. A Fort Worth kidnapping lawyer could work to mitigate any penalties that an individual may face.
Fighting Against These Allegations
There are several affirmative defenses that, depending on the specific facts and circumstances, can be raised in some kidnapping cases. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- The alleged abduction was done without any intent to harm and/or use deadly force
- The allegedly abducted person was a relative of the alleged perpetrator
- The sole intent of the alleged perpetrator was to assume lawful control of the person who was abducted
How A Fort Worth Kidnapping Attorney Can Help
Kidnapping cases are often complex and can become even more so if the alleged kidnapping took place across state lines. Often, these cases can involve multiple sets of laws and opposing stories.
To begin fighting these charges and take steps to protect your rights, it is important to reach out to a skilled Fort Worth kidnapping lawyer. To learn more, call to set up a free consultation.