What are Kidnapping Laws in Texas?
Kidnapping is a severe offense in San Marcos and can attract hefty penalties upon conviction. The violation is considered “aggravated” in some circumstances, for example, when the kidnapper demands ransom or uses a deadly weapon. Aggravated kidnapping carries heftier penalties than simple kidnapping, often resulting in life imprisonment.
Don’t go to trial alone if you face kidnapping charges in San Marcos. Remember that kidnapping is a violent felony under Penal Code Chapter 20. Aggressive San Marcos trial lawyers can provide legal representation and fight to defend you against the charges.
Kidnapping is defined as the unlawful restraining or taking and moving of a person by using or threatening to use deadly force. It also refers to the confinement of a person to a controlled place where they are unlikely to be found against their will. Some laws on kidnapping require that the forceful taking or detention of a person be for unlawful purposes, such as the following:
- Extortion in the form of a ransom or reward
- Holding the victim as a hostage or shield
- Assaulting physically or sexually
- Terrorizing the victim
- Committing or facilitating a felony or fleeing from a felony
- Interfering with the performance of any governmental or political function
Whether the kidnapper achieves their purpose is irrelevant. The intention to kidnap is what matters. Kidnapping sometimes happens in child custody disputes, in which one parent forcefully removes the child from the other parent’s custody. Whatever the reason for kidnapping, having experienced San Marcos violent crimes lawyers to defend you is crucial.
What Is the Difference Between Abduction and Kidnapping?
Abduction is an element of kidnapping, which means seizing and taking a person away by force. In some circumstances, abduction is used to describe the act of taking a person without effective consent, as opposed to taking them forcefully.
Unlawfully Taking and Moving Another Person by Force or Fear
If the person you took or moved away didn’t consent, the action is considered unlawful. Doing the action while physically moving the person to your intended location or direction is considered forceful. Instilling fear entails pointing a gun or knife or threatening them with physical violence.
Kidnapping may entail assault, battery, or rape. Kidnapping often happens before these crimes happen. The more crimes you commit against the victim, the heftier the penalties you may get for kidnapping. Contact skilled San Marcos kidnapping defense lawyers as soon as possible after your arrest to create a defense strategy.
What Is Unlawful Restraint?
The law criminalizes other acts similar to kidnapping, and prosecutors will often charge kidnapping offenders with the following related offenses:
Unlawful restraint: It’s against the law to intentionally detain, confine, or restrain another against their wishes. This is a crime that can be committed with as little action as preventing a person from exiting a room. The crime is aggravated if violence or menace is involved and doesn’t necessarily entail moving the victim a substantial distance. Unlawful restraint is a “lesser included” crime, as you can’t commit kidnapping without imprisoning someone.
What Are the Penalties for a Kidnapping Conviction in San Marcos?
The penalties for kidnapping often depend on the facts and circumstances of the case. A conviction carries an imprisonment term in state prison for two years all the way up to life in prison depending on whether or not there were aggravating circumstances. Upon conviction, you may also receive a grant of probation.
Aggravated kidnapping can be considered a second degree felony instead of a first degree felony if you release the victim in a safe location. This will substantially reduce the penalty for this crime.
Kidnapping to demand a ransom can be punished with an imprisonment in state prison upon conviction. If the victim suffers injuries, the penalty is five years to life imprisonment.
A conviction for kidnapping for assault, robbery, sex crimes, or the commission of a carjacking attracts up to life imprisonment in state prison with the possibility of parole. In addition to imprisonment, a conviction also ruins your reputation and dramatically ruins your life. Contact an aggressive criminal trial lawyer in San Marcos to protect your rights and future.
Learn Your Legal Options in Your Kidnapping Case
Facing kidnapping charges can be scary and overwhelming, mainly because the penalties can be hefty and ruin your life. An experienced kidnapping defense attorney in San Marcos, TX, can investigate the case, evaluate the charges, and help you create a strong defense strategy to have the charges against you dropped.
Our trial attorneys are skilled and aggressive in representing clients facing criminal charges. Through open and honest conversations, they can work closely with you to understand your unique situation. Don’t go to trial alone for kidnapping charges. Legal professionals at The Law Offices of David C. Hardaway are waiting to walk this journey with you. Contact us at (512) 846-9966 for an initial consultation.
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