Kidnapping in the State of Texas
Kidnapping is a broad term that encompasses several different types of crimes under Texas law. For instance, the crime of unlawful restraint occurs when the perpetrator restricts the movement of another person without consent, either by moving that person from place to place, or by confining him or her to a certain location or space. Unlawful restraint is typically a Class A misdemeanor, but the state can charge the crime as a felony if the incident involved a minor child, an on-duty public servant, or reckless endangerment of the victim. Likewise, unlawful restraint can be a lesser crime if, for example, the perpetrator was a relative who attempted to exert only lawful control over the victim, or if the perpetrator was no more than three years older than the teenage victim, and used no force, intimidation, or deception.
The charge of kidnapping under Texas law, however, occurs when the perpetrator abducts another person or takes the victim in a manner to prevent his or her rescue. Kidnapping is usually a third-degree felony but can be a first-degree felony charge when aggravated. The much more serious crime of aggravated kidnapping involves abducting the victim for some significantly dangerous purpose, such as holding the victim for ransom or as a hostage, sexually or physically assaulting the victim, or using a deadly weapon to carry out the kidnapping.
Robbery under Texas Law
Texas law deems robbery to be a violent offense because it involves theft of property by causing physical harm, or threatening to cause physical harm, to the victim. Robbery is always a felony charge. Additionally, if the perpetrator uses a gun, knife, or other type of deadly weapon, the state can charge him or her with aggravated robbery, which carries even more severe penalties, such as a longer period of incarceration and higher fines.