Dallas Unlawful Restraint Lawyer (2023) Best North Texas Defense

Dallas Unlawful Restraint Lawyer, serving Dallas County and North Texas

Unlawful restraint in Texas is committed when someone intentionally or knowingly restrains another person.

It’s typically a Class A misdemeanor but can become a state jail felony or a third-degree felony based on the case’s specific facts.

Unlawful restraint is the least serious kidnapping offense in the Texas Penal Code.

If you’re being investigated or facing unlawful restraint charges, it’s important to consult with an experienced Dallas unlawful restraint lawyer as soon as possible. The defense team at Varghese Summersett has an unmatched record defending its clients in North Texas.

Our criminal defense attorneys stand between you and the government

In this post, we’ll explain what Texas considers unlawful restraint, detail the penalties for a conviction, and look at some ways to defend against the charge.

What is Unlawful Restraint in Dallas?

Anyone intentionally or knowingly restraining another person is committing unlawful restraint. It’s typically a Class A misdemeanor offense, but felony versions are possible and described below.

Class A misdemeanor

Unlawful restraint is the least serious offense among the kidnapping, smuggling, and trafficking offenses in Texas.

If the victim is under age 17, the offense is a state jail felony, and all other offenses under this statute are Class A misdemeanors.

Don’t be fooled, however, by the “least-serious” classification. If convicted, you could still be facing life-altering jail time. You deserve to have a skilled Dallas unlawful restraint lawyer fighting for you.

What does “restrain” mean in Dallas?

Texas Penal Code defines “restrain” as restricting a “person’s movements without consent, 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:

  1. force, intimidation, or deception; or
  2. any means, including acquiescence of the victim, if:
    1. the victim is under age 14 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
    2. the victim is under age 14 or older and under age 17, 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.

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What is the penalty for misdemeanor unlawful restraint in Dallas?

Dallas unlawful restraint lawyer

Unlawful restraint is typically a Class A misdemeanor charge, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum $4,000 fine. Our accomplished Dallas unlawful restraint lawyer will work tirelessly to reach the best possible outcome in your case.

What makes unlawful restraint a felony in Texas?

Unlawful restraint becomes a felony offense if the person restrained is a public servant in their official capacity, the victim is under age 17, or the victim is threatened with serious bodily injury.

Third degree felony in Texas

Unlawful restraint is a third-degree felony when the actor recklessly exposes the victim to a substantial risk of serious bodily injury in the commission of the act. It’s also a third-degree felony if the victim is an on-duty public servant or if the actor was in the custody of a law officer. If you’re facing a felony conviction, an expert Dallas unlawful restraint lawyer is indispensable.

State Jail Felony
State Jail Felony Punishment in Texas

If the victim is under age 17, the offense is a state jail felony, according to Texas Penal Code Section 20.02.

What are affirmative defenses against unlawful restraint in Texas?

Texas law includes affirmative defenses in unlawful restraint cases involving specific conditions.

  • If the child is younger than 14, the actor is the child’s relative, and the actor’s sole intent was to assume lawful control of the child.
  • If the child restrained was 14-16, the actor did not restrain the child by force, intimidation, or deception, and the actor is not more than three years older than the child.
  • Texas law also allows for exceptions for law enforcement officials. The Penal Code states it is not an unlawful restraint offense to detain or move another as part of a lawful arrest or detention.

Having a Dallas unlawful restraint lawyer with a deep understanding of the law and the complexities of using an affirmative defense is vital.

What’s an example of unlawful restraint in Dallas?

What exactly constitutes unlawful restraint in Texas? Here’s a look at some common scenarios:

  • A married couple is arguing in a hotel room, and one partner refuses to let the other leave the room.
  • In the middle of an ugly breakup, one partner forces the other to stay at his house, refusing to let them leave.
  • Workers finish their shifts, but the boss won’t let them go home. The supervisor locks the door and refuses to let them leave the building.
  • A man quits his job, but his boss refuses to let him leave the office.
  • Someone witnesses a crime and wishes to report it to the police, but actors force them to stay put.

Anyone of these situations requires a skilled Dallas unlawful restraint lawyer.

Tough cases call for the toughest lawyers.

Are you facing an unlawful restraint defense in Dallas?

Are you or a loved one facing an unlawful restraint charge in Dallas? Our team includes Board Certified defense attorneys and former prosecutors experienced in handling such cases. This isn’t a charge to take lightly. A conviction could disrupt your life and family. You need one of the top Dallas unlawful restraint lawyers at Varghese Summersett.

For a free consultation, call us at 214-903-4000.

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