Texas Kidnapping Laws
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Whether it’s a stranger snatching a child off the street or an estranged parent abducting their child to deny the other parent custody, kidnapping is a serious crime that is punished by severe consequences. If you have been accused of kidnapping in Texas, it is in your best interest to obtain legal representation from an experienced lawyer.
With decades of experience, The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. understands what it takes to get the best results possible in various types of cases, including violent crimes. Our Bryan and College Station criminal defense lawyers can investigate your case, collect evidence, and build a strong defense strategy to either get your entire case thrown out of court or have your charges reduced substantially.
Texas Kidnapping Penalties
There are three different degrees of kidnapping, all of them resulting in felony charges.
A person commits an offense of third-degree kidnapping if he or she intentionally or knowingly abducts another person if (1) abduction is committed with an intent to use or threaten to use deadly force, (2) the abducted person is a relative of the offender, or (3) the sole intent of the offender is to assume lawful control of the victim. A third-degree felony is punishable by a prison sentence between two and 10 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
First-degree kidnapping is considered aggravated kidnapping when the crime includes the intent to do the following:
- Hold person for ransom or reward
- Use person as a shield or hostage
- Facilitate a commission of a felony or the flight after the attempt or commission of a felony
- Inflict bodily harm or sexual abuse
- Terrorize the kidnapped person or a third party
- Use or exhibit a deadly weapon during the crime
- Interfere with government performance or political function
First-degree kidnapping is punishable by a prison sentence ranging from five to 99 years and a fine of up to $10,000. However, the penalty may be reduced to a second-degree felony if at the punishment stage of the trial, the defendant can show – through evidence- that he or she voluntarily released the victim in a safe place. A second-degree felony results in a prison sentence between two and 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
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With any kidnapping charge, your freedom and future are at stake. You need to protect your rights and best interests by seeking legal services from a skilled and reputable criminal defense attorney. We can offer our experience legal support from start to finish.
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