Kidnapping charges are defined under Section 20 of the Texas Penal Code. The term kidnapping is defined as knowingly or intentionally abducting another person. An aggravated kidnapping involves intentionally or knowingly abducting another person with the intent to hold them for ransom or reward; using them as a shield or hostage; facilitating the commission of a felony or the flight after the attempt or commission of a felony; inflicting bodily injury on them or violating or abuse them sexually; terrorizing them or a third person, or interfering with the performance of any governmental or political function.
An aggravated kidnapping charge has enhanced penalties because it is considered a “crime of violence”. Under 18 U.S. Code § 16, a crime of violence is an offense that has an element of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against a person.
After a charge of aggravated kidnapping, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Denton for federal crimes before making any statement.
Aggravated Kidnapping Defense Lawyer in Denton, Little Elm, Lewisville, and Flower Mound, TX
Aggravated kidnapping is a serious offense. If convicted, the defendant may face a felony charge. Felony charges can affect your personal life, professional endeavors, and basic civil rights. Because of this, it is imperative that you seek aid from a criminal defense attorney.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy will aggressively fight for you. We strive to give our clients the utmost care and attention. If you or a loved one has been charged with aggravated kidnapping in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area, contact us for legal consultation.
Our attorneys fight kidnapping and other related charges throughout the greater Dallas area. We have offices all over the North Texas area including Denton, Plano, Fort Worth, Allen, and Dallas, TX. Call (940) 222-8004 for one-on-one attention on your case today.
Aggravated Kidnapping Charges in Denton County
Under Texas Penal Code § 20.04, an alleged offender commits aggravated kidnapping if they intentionally or knowingly abduct another person with the intent to:
- hold them for ransom or reward;
- use them as a shield or hostage;
- facilitate the commission of a felony or the flight after the attempt or commission of a felony;
- inflict bodily injury on him or violate or abuse them sexually;
- terrorize them or a third person; or
- interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
A person also commits an offense if the person intentionally or knowingly abducts another person and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense.
This crime is generally a first-degree felony, but an alleged offender can raise the issue as to whether they voluntarily released the victim in a safe place. If the alleged offender proves the issue in the affirmative by a preponderance of the evidence, the offense is a second-degree felony.
Texas Penal Code § 20.01(1) defines restrain as meaning 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. Restraint is considered “without consent” if it is accomplished by:
- force, intimidation, or deception; or
- any means, including acquiescence of the victim, if the victim is a child who is less than 14 years of age or an incompetent person and the parent, guardian, or person or institution acting in loco parentis has not acquiesced in the movement or confinement; or the victim is a child who is 14 years of age or older and younger than 17 years of age, the victim is taken outside of the state and outside a 120-mile radius from the victim’s residence, and the parent, guardian, or person or institution acting in loco parentis has not acquiesced in the movement.
The term abduct means to restrain a person with the intent to prevent his liberation by:
- secreting or holding him in a place where he is not likely to be found; or
- using or threatening to use deadly force.
Aggravated Kidnapping Penalties in Denton
Aggravated kidnapping carries heavy penalties. Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code states the general consequences of an aggravated kidnapping conviction. Possible penalties include:
- Second-Degree Felony — Up to 20 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine
- First-Degree Felony — Up to 99 years or life in prison and/or a $10,000 fine
You should know punishments can vary depending on a number of factors, including whether the alleged victim was a child, disabled, incompetent, or elderly person; whether the alleged offender is considered a repeat felony offender; whether the alleged offender is considered a habitual offender; and/or whether the alleged offender has a prior criminal conviction.
Denton County Aggravated Kidnapping Resources
Hines v. State, 75 S.W.3d 444 (2002) — On June 29, 1998, Rebecca Thornton, an employee of the Klein Bank in Harris County, arrived at work early to open the bank. As she walked up to the front door of the bank two men who had been hiding behind some bushes approached her and stated, “That’s right. Unlock the door.” The men were wearing black clothing and ski masks. Thornton attempted to go inside the bank and lock the men out. One of the men stuck the barrel of a shotgun between the doors, used his hand to pry open the door, and grabbed Thornton by the throat. He then asked Thornton to show him the alarm pad. When the man noticed that Thornton was having difficulty disarming the alarm, he pointed the gun in her ribs and stated, “Do it now or I will shoot you. I swear to God.” Thornton also testified that the man with the gun kept his hand around her throat for most of this time. After Thornton turned off the alarm, the man with the gun asked her to lead him to the vault.
The other man served as the lookout. As she was turning on the light near the vault, another bank employee, Darlene Standlee, arrived at the bank. While one of the men held on tightly to Thornton’s arm, Thornton was instructed by the men to signal Standlee to come inside the bank. Thornton, however, mouthed to Standlee not to enter the bank. Standlee was able to understand Thornton’s warning and began to run away. The men then ran out of the bank after Standlee. Realizing that the men had exited the bank, Thornton left the bank to seek help. Once outside the bank, the men ordered Standlee to stop. Standlee, fearing that the men were going to kill her, stopped. The men grabbed her by the back of the neck, pulled her back inside the bank, and demanded that she open the vault. As soon as the two men realized that Thornton was no longer in the bank, they quickly left the bank, taking approximately $33,000 with them. Charles Hines was subsequently charged with the aggravated kidnapping of Thornton. Hines argued on appeal that the evidence was legally insufficient to support the jury’s verdict. The Court of Appeals reversed the appellant’s conviction. The Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, however, held that a rational juror could have found that Thornton was abducted by the appellant and reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals, remanding the case to that court for consideration of the appellant’s other points of error.
Prudholm v. State, 333 S.W.3d 590 (2011) — This case was an appeal from a sentence that was enhanced under Texas Penal Code § 12.42(c)(2), which mandates a life sentence for a defendant convicted of a sex-related offense listed in Subsection (A) if the defendant has been previously convicted of a Texas offense listed in Subsection (B), or an offense “under the laws of another state containing elements that are substantially similar to the elements” of a Texas offense listed in Subsection (B). This case required the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas to decide whether the California offense of sexual battery contains elements that are substantially similar to the elements of the Texas offenses of sexual assault or aggravated kidnapping. The Court of Criminal Appeals ultimately determined that sexual battery does not contain elements that are substantially similar to the elements of aggravated kidnapping or sexual assault. It affirmed the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remanded the case to the trial court for further punishment proceedings.
Find A Denton County Defense Attorney for Aggravated Kidnapping Charges | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Have you or someone you know been charged with aggravated kidnapping or related charges in the Denton area? It is critical that you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a free consultation. Kidnapping is a serious offense that may result in a felony charge. The penalties for aggravated kidnapping heavily lean on intent, so a sturdy legal defense is necessary. It is crucial that you remain silent with law enforcement and seek advice from a criminal defense attorney.
If you are overwhelmed and need guidance, call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Our attorneys are dedicated to preserving your rights. We believe in your case and want to get you the best possible outcome. We accept clients throughout the Denton area, including Argyle, Aubrey, Carrollton, Denton, Flower Mound, Frisco, Justin, Krum, Lake Dallas, Lewisville, Little Elm, Pilot Point, Ponder, Roanoke, Sanger, or The Colony. Our attorneys are experienced in all kinds of kidnapping cases after an arrest by local law enforcement agencies.
Additionally, we represent offenses investigated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), the Department of Public Safety, and Immigrations & Customs Enforcement (ICE). Having a plan is as simple as submitting an online contact form or dialing (940) 222-8004. Do not let this charge take over your life. Call the attorneys at the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy or contact us online today.