Houston Kidnapping Lawyer – Brett Podolsky
Kidnapping is a very confusing criminal offense. In some cases, the law states exactly what it means to take a person and illegally hold them against their will. In other situations, unlawful restraint is enough to administer a kidnapping charge. With many defendants, the motive behind the kidnapping is the key. Harsher offenses for kidnapping include ransoms, restraining while committing a felony, harassing the victim or restraining a person in various ways that prevents their liberties. However, there are usually two parts to any surefire kidnapping charge: a person who was unlawfully taken and a motive for taking the person. You can find the exact ramifications of these charges under Texas Penal Code 20.03.
Types of Kidnapping Charges
There are different charges depending on the type of kidnapping.
- Unlawful restraint: When a victim is restrained against their will. Unlawful restraint is a Class A misdemeanor, but it can be heightened due to aggravating circumstances, cases where victims are minors or if the person was harmed in any way while restrained.
- Kidnapping: These charges require an actual abduction to take place. This is a third-degree felony, which can be lessened if the person was family, if there was no threat of violence and if there was no motive.
- Aggravated kidnapping: This is the worst charge and carries the harshest punishment. Aggravated kidnapping includes cases where a victim is held for ransom, sexual assault or any harm was committed against the victim, a lethal weapon was used on the defendant at the time of kidnapping and if the defendant tried to prevent a political event.
- Unlawful transport: If a victim is transported after abduction, then the defendant has committed an unlawful transport. In addition, the defendant must have taken measures to ensure hiding the abduction from police. This charge is covered under Texas Penal Code 20.05.
Fines and Punishments
The punishments for any of these charges can be severe. However, the most severe punishments come with aggravated kidnapping. Those who are convicted of kidnapping charges can expect to pay large fines, court fees and serve jail or prison time. In cases of aggravated kidnapping, a convicted criminal can serve from five to 99 years in prison depending on the severity of the crime, particularly when the victim was a minor and there was an element of violence, deadly weapon or sexual abuse involved.
Get Help From a Houston Kidnapping Lawyer
Criminal lawyers see cases of kidnapping multiple times per year. Mostly these charges involve parents, grandparents and children who simply don’t understand the statutes. If you are facing charges, hiring a kidnapping attorney can reduce a sentence or even dismiss a case. Prosecutors must prove several factors to earn a conviction, and many times, it is impossible to gain all the evidence necessary.
To get a complimentary legal consultation, reach Houston kidnapping attorney Brett A. Podolsky by telephone at 713-227-0087.