Tarrant County Kidnapping Lawyer
Kidnapping is legally defined as the act of restraining someone against their will. Kidnapping could also occur when a parent takes a child away from an estranged spouse or when if individuals use hostages as bargaining chips with police. If the authorities have accused you of kidnapping, you may be in a precarious situation.
Since there may be severe penalties at stake in a kidnapping conviction, you may need a Tarrant county kidnapping lawyer on your side who could fight aggressively for your rights and freedoms. A criminal defense lawyer could help you understand the local and state laws and can advise you on what defenses may be available to you.
Kidnapping Laws in Texas
The Texas Penal Code Section 20.03 defines kidnapping as when someone intentionally and knowingly abducts another person. Any act of kidnapping is a third-degree felony, and the court may punish kidnapping with two to ten years in jail with $10,000 in fines.
The charge could be elevated to aggravated kidnapping under various circumstances. Section 20.04 defines aggravated kidnapping as restraining another person with additional circumstances involving:
- The use of a deadly weapon
- The intention of holding the victim for a ransom
- Use of the victim as a hostage or shield
- Use of the victim to escape during or after committing a felony
- Injuring or sexually assaulting the victim
- Scaring the victim or a third party
- Interfering with any governmental or political function
Aggravated kidnapping may also involve intentionally and knowingly using a deadly weapon during the abduction.
Aggravated kidnapping is considered a first-degree felony, and the court may punish a person with a sentence of incarceration ranging from five years to life with a fine of no more than $10,000. If the defendant could prove they voluntarily released the victim in a safe place in a trial of court, the offense may be lowered to a felony of the second-degree.
Defenses to Kidnapping Charges
There may be defenses available to someone facing charges that could reduce or even avoid any penalties related to kidnapping charges. Possible defenses to a kidnapping charge involve:
- A lack of intent to use force or threat of force with the abduction
- A lack of intent to use deadly force
- A lack of intent to kidnap or restrain
- Being related to the alleged victim
- Intending to gain legal control of the victim
An attorney could advise a person on the defenses available to them depending on their unique circumstances.
Contact a Tarrant County Kidnapping Attorney
If the government has accused you of kidnapping, it may be in your best interest to act without delay. It could be difficult to know what steps to take when facing potential kidnapping charges. This is why enlisting the services of our powerful legal representatives may be imperative.
When you reach out to a Tarrant county kidnapping lawyer, they could answer any questions you may have, inform you of your legal protections when dealing with the police and prosecutors, and help you build a defense against the charges. Call us today to see how we could help you through such a high-stakes situation.