Individuals in Texas and elsewhere across the nation who are finding themselves involved in a situation that could be interpreted as kidnapping may want to know more about the state and federal laws that might apply to their unique set of circumstances. Kidnapping is defined as the intentional or knowing abduction of another person. In some cases, the taking of a child by a non-custodial parent could result in the filing of kidnapping charges against that party.

The kidnapping of a child within the context of a divorced or separated family is the most commonly publicized type of kidnapping case. However, taking any person from one place to another against that individual’s will or confining a person to a controlled space may also lead to kidnapping charges dependent upon the particular circumstances surrounding each individual situation.

Dependent upon prior convictions and other factors, kidnapping is a serious federal crime that is associated with harsh penalties, including prison sentences that might exceed 20 years in some cases. International parental kidnapping, which is prosecuted under a separate federal statute, may result in a three-year prison sentence upon conviction.

In Texas, kidnapping is classified as a third-degree felony. However, there are a number of defenses that may be employed by individuals who have been charged with this crime. Parties who find themselves facing kidnapping charges in this state may want to seek advice from an attorney with experience in criminal defense at both state and federal levels. When it is a viable option, the attorney could work to have the charges reduced or dismissed.

Source: FindLaw, “Kidnapping,” accessed on Aug. 16, 2016