A woman recently escaped a kidnapping attempt by a man who invited her to have sexual intercourse with him outside of a fast-food restaurant. At the time that the incident occurred, the woman was walking in front of Grandy’s on East McKinney Street. Later, as the woman was walking in the 200 block of Mockingbird Lane, the same man stopped his truck, confronted the woman, grabbed her by the shirt, and tried to force her into his truck. The woman was able to avoid being kidnapped and escaped to a nearby fire station for help. No arrests in the case have been made and the investigation is still under way.
What Constitutes Kidnapping
Section 20.03 of the Texas Penal Code defines kidnapping as intentionally or knowingly abducting another person. It is not a requirement for kidnapping to occur that a person uses weapons or violence. To abduct a person, someone must restrain the individual with intent to prevent his or her freedom of movement by holding the victim in a place where he or she is not likely to be found or by using the threat of or actual deadly force.
Kidnapping Versus Aggravated Kidnapping
There are actually several elevated degrees of kidnapping. These two offenses both involve the unlawful restraint and abduction of another person. Both offenses are also considered felony charges. The difference between these two offenses, however, is that aggravated kidnapping results in the possibility of up to 99 years in prison. Kidnapping, however, results in a maximum of $10,000 in fines and up to 10 years in prison.
To elevate a kidnapping to an aggravated kidnapping, prosecution is required to establish one of several important elements. If a person intentionally or knowingly abducts another individual and uses a deadly weapon during the abduction, that person will end up facing an aggravated kidnapping charge. Aggravated kidnapping can also involve holding a person for a random or reward, using the kidnapped person as a hostage or shield, being involved in another felony after the kidnapping, bodily harming or sexually abusing the kidnapped person, terrorizing the kidnapped person or a third party, and interfering with any government or political function.
Kidnapping Versus Unlawful Restraint
A person can also face charges of unlawful restraint in connection with a kidnapping. Unlawful restraint is a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
Defenses to a Kidnapping Charge
A person who is charged with kidnapping might be able to raise a strong defense. Some of the strong potential defenses that can be raised in response to a kidnapping charge include the following:
- The abduction was not performed with the intent to threaten or use deadly force.
- The person being charged was related to the person who was abducted.
- The person being charged intended to take lawful custody of the victim.
Obtain the Assistance of a Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with kidnapping in Denton or the surrounding area, do not hesitate to obtain the assistance of skilled legal counsel. Contact the experienced criminal defense counsel at Wheeler Law Offices today for an evaluation of your case. Our legal counsel knows how to make sure your case resolves in the best possible manner.
(image courtesy of Christian Spies)