A lot of people are familiar with the concept of “kidnapping,” which refers to abduction and keeping a person against their will – not letting the victim move freely. Under Title 5, Chapter 20 of the Texas Penal Code, kidnapping is one crime and “unlawful restraint” is a separate offense. For the purpose of this post, we’re going to discuss the crime of unlawful restraint in Texas.
For starters, let’s take a look at the definition of “restrain” under Section 20.01(1) of the Texas Penal Code: “‘Restraint’ means to restrict a person’s movements without consent, so as to interfere substantially with the person’s liberty, by moving the person from one place to another or by confining the person.”
According to Sec. 20.01(1), restraint is without the person’s consent when it’s accomplished by:
- Intimidation, or
- By any means if the victim is a child under 14-years-of-age.
Under Sec. 20.02(a), it says, “A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly restrains another person.” The offense of unlawful restraint in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000, up to one year in jail, or by a fine and confinement.
Unlawful restraint is a state jail felony of the victim was a minor under the age of 17, punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail, and by a possible fine up to $10,000, or by a fine and confinement. Unlawful restraint is a felony of the third degree if the offender exposed the victim to a serious risk of serious bodily injury. A third-degree felony is punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison, and by a possible fine up to $10,000, or by a fine and imprisonment.
Are you facing criminal charges for unlawful restraint in Plano, Dallas, or Fort Worth? If so, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC at once to schedule a criminal defense consultation with a member of our top-rated legal team.