Kidnapping & Aggravated Kidnapping in Dallas, TX
Kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, and unlawful restraint charges in Texas all involve abducting or restraining a person. Police, prosecutors, and courts in Dallas take kidnapping charges very seriously. A conviction for a kidnapping offense can lead to very serious consequences. These can include lengthy prison sentences, hefty fines, and a permanent criminal record. Furthermore, they can damage your reputation and limit your future employment opportunities. With all this on the line, you need an experienced Dallas kidnapping lawyer in your corner. You need someone who will walk you through the process and help you understand the law and your rights. And most importantly, you need someone who will fight for you in court. You need Dallas kidnapping attorney Mike Howard.
Dallas Kidnapping Charges
A person commits kidnapping (Texas Penal Code § 20.03) if they intentionally or knowingly abducts another person.
“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.
“Restrain” 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. Restraint is “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.
Kidnapping is a third-degree felony. As a result, you could face 2 – 10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. Aggravated kidnapping, however, is generally a first-degree felony. As a result, you could face 5 – 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If the accused can prove that they voluntarily released the victim into a safe place, the offense is a second-degree felony.
Aggravated Kidnapping Charges
A person commits aggravated kidnapping (Texas Penal Code § 20.04) if they:
- intentionally or knowingly abducts another person and uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense. OR
- intentionally or knowingly abducts another person with the intent to:
- hold him for ransom or reward. OR
- use him as a shield or hostage. OR
- facilitate in the commission of a felony or flight after the attempt or commission of a felony. OR
- inflict bodily injury on him or abuse him sexually. OR
- terrorize him or a third person. OR
- interfere with the performance of any governmental or political function.
“Abduct” means to restraint 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
Aggravated kidnapping is generally a first-degree felony. As a result, you could face 5 – 99 years or life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. If, however, the accused can prove that they voluntarily released the victim into a safe place, the offense is a second-degree felony. As a result, the punishment range would be 2 – 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Unlawful restraint is a lesser charge of kidnapping charges and aggravated kidnapping. For more information on unlawful restraint charges, see our unlawful restraint page.
Dallas Kidnapping Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been accused of kidnapping in Dallas or the more severe aggravated kidnapping, contact the Law Office of Mike Howard. Most importantly, Dallas kidnapping lawyer Mike Howard has the experience, trial skills, and dedication that you need when you are fighting for your life. We will do everything we can to fight for you. Moreover, Mr. Howard will give you an honest assessment of your case and explain the law and your legal options.
A Different Kind of Lawyer
We approach our clients differently than a lot of lawyers. Above all, our philosophy is that being a great lawyer is more than getting you a great result. First, our office is centered around you. This means we start by truly listening to you to understand your case and your goals. Further, our team works to provide you a client experience that is as easy and stress-free as possible. Answering your questions and keeping you informed is very important to us. Most importantly, we treat you as a person, not a number. Finally, our goal is to achieve the best possible result for you. If you’re looking for a different kind of lawyer you’ve come to the right place.
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Our Case Process
Listen & Understand
We focus on clients as real people. First, we list to understand who you are and what you need. Then we make sure we fully understand the facts of the case.
We explain the law, your rights, and the legal process. Because communication is very important to us, we strive to quickly answer questions and return communication.
Fight for Justice
Simply put: we fight hard for you. In the courtroom, in negotiations, and before a case even is officially opened, we fight for justice for you.
Kidnapping Resources & Info
See our criminal defense resource center for more information on from Dallas assault lawyer Mike Howard on fundamental rights in a criminal case, definitions of culpable mental states (intentionally, knowingly, etc), defenses to prosecution, and more.
Defending Kidnapping Charges in Dallas
First and foremost, the prosecutor must prove their allegation beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor cannot rule out each and every possible reasonable doubt, the presumption of innocence prevails. As a result, the court must find you not guilty. This means you don’t have to prove that you didn’t do it. You don’t have to prove anything!
The only way the prosecution wins is if the jury believes their story is the only reasonable way it could’ve happened. If they have any reasonable doubts that it actually happened, they must find you not guilty. If they reasonably think it could’ve happened another way, they must find you not guilty. This is the highest burden of proof in our justice system. When implemented by a skilled Dallas kidnapping attorney, it can be a powerful weapon.
Furthermore, it is an affirmative defense if:
- the abduction was not coupled with intent to use or to threaten to use deadly force;
- the actor was a relative of the person abducted; and
- the actor’s sole intent was to assume lawful control of the victim.
Choosing the Right Kidnapping Lawyer
Searching for kidnapping lawyers in Dallas can be overwhelming. After all, you are choosing someone who will hold your life, your future, and your family’s future in their hands. You have to be comfortable with them and feel that you can trust the information and advice they give you. Attorneys are supposed to always work in their clients’ best interest. That shouldn’t just be meaningless talk.
First, talk to several lawyers to get a feel for them and their staff. Do they take the time necessary to get to know you, to listen to what’s important to you, and answer your questions? Do they show you that you matter to them as a person and not just as a fee? Beware of lawyers who put the hard sell on you, who make big promises. No attorney should ever make a guarantee about a case. Absolutely avoid a lawyer who doesn’t communicate the scope of the work and their fee clearly in a written contract.
What Makes Mike Howard Different
Many lawyers take advantage of their clients’ ignorance of the criminal justice process. We take the opposite approach. A knowledgeable client is a happy client. Therefore, we provide a wealth of information in the way of articles about criminal offenses, blog posts, and videos for free on our website.
Visit Our YouTube Channel for informational videos and client testimonials.
Visit Our blog for posts on cases, defenses, and criminal law information.
Dallas Kidnapping Attorney Mike Howard
Above all, I strive to help my clients through difficult times with compassion and integrity. In Dallas innocent people can get accused, charged, and convicted when they don’t have a Dallas kidnapping attorney fighting for them. I believe in standing up for people facing criminal accusations and helping them navigate all that comes with being thrown into the criminal justice system.
The cornerstone of my law practice is focusing on my clients as individuals. I start by taking the time to understand not just the facts of their case, but who they are and what they need. Because I know the criminal justice system can be intimidating, I explain the process, their rights, and their options. Client communication is extremely important to me, so I make sure my team and I do everything possible to quickly answer questions and return messages.
Willing to Fight
Most importantly, I am willing to fight a case in court. I have a track record of delivering fantastic results at trial. While not every client and case needs to go to trial, it can make a difference. When your Dallas kidnapping attorney has a reputation as a skillful trial lawyer who fights for their clients, however, it makes all the difference in the world.
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Together, we can get your life back.
When you’re ready to take the next steps, attorney Mike Howard is here to discuss your situation and design a plan to deal with Dallas kidnapping allegations. Trust our experience, empathy, and ability to help put charges behind you.
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Located in the Element Towers West Building at 3010 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, Texas, attorney Mike Howard handles criminal cases across Dallas, Collin, Denton, and Tarrant Counties at the state level and in the Northern and Eastern Districts at the federal level.