Defending Against Unlawful Restraint Charges in the Austin Area
The law in Texas takes interference with another person’s physical liberty very seriously. Kidnapping, smuggling, and trafficking offenses have very harsh penalties, but there is also a lesser related offense in Texas called “unlawful restraint.” While this is not as severe an accusation as kidnapping, it is still a very serious matter, and you need an experienced Austin unlawful restraint defense lawyer handling your case.
The law office of Granger and Mueller PC represents defendants facing charges of unlawful restraint in the Austin area. We will do everything in our power to have our clients’ charges dismissed, or to fight for the least harsh penalty possible. Contact us right away if you are arrested and accused of unlawful restraint.
Unlawful Restraint Charges and Penalties
Under the Texas statute, unlawful restraint involves knowingly or intentionally restraining another person. To “restrain” means to:
- Restrict another person’s ability to move without consent by using deception, intimidation, or force
- In a manner that substantially interferes with the person’s liberty
- By confining the person or forcefully moving the person from place to place
Restraining someone is different from abducting someone, which could result in kidnapping charges. Restraint does not involve hiding someone like abduction, though there are still potentially severe penalties for unlawful restraint.
Unlawful restraint is generally a Class A misdemeanor charge, which can mean maximum penalties of one year in jail and $4,000 in fines. However, charges might be escalated as follows:
- If the victim was younger than 17 years old, you can face state jail felony charges, which can mean up to two years in jail
- If the victim is exposed to a substantial risk of harm or is a public servant, it can be a third-degree felony charge. Penalties include two to ten years in state prison.
- If the victim is a peace officer or judge performing their duties, you can face a second-degree felony charge, which means two to 20 years in prison for a conviction.
Even though unlawful restraint is less severe than kidnapping or smuggling, you can still face possible imprisonment and costly fines if you are convicted of this offense.
How an Austin Unlawful Restraint Defense Attorney Can Help
It is important to fight against a conviction of unlawful restraint whenever possible, and you should start by seeking help from our experienced Austin criminal defense lawyers. We can help in different ways, such as:
- Investigating the circumstances of your arrest
- Identifying whether the authorities violated your rights
- Presenting all possible legal defenses
- Negotiating lesser charges or penalties in a plea agreement
- Defending against your charges at trial
Do Not Wait to Consult with an Austin Unlawful Restraint Defense Lawyer
The Texas criminal justice system is complicated, and it can be highly challenging - or impossible - for a defendant to obtain a favorable outcome on their own. If you would like to learn how Granger and Mueller PC can help, please call 512-474-9999 or contact us online today.