Chapter 20 of the Texas Penal Code places restrictions on retraining, abducting, and smuggling persons.

Kidnapping, as per § 20.03 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when an individual intentionally or knowingly abducts another person.

“Abduct”, as per §20.01 (2) of the Texas Penal Code, is defined as restraining 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 by the use of deadly force or threatening to use deadly force.

Kidnapping always constitutes a third degree felony and carries with it a term of imprisonment between 2 and 20 years, as well as a fine not to exceed $10,000.

It is an affirmative defense to the prosecution of kidnapping that:

  • 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.

Punishment Range

Third Degree Felony

  • Imprisonment in the institutional division for not more than 10 years or less than two years
  • In addition to imprisonment, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

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