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What Is Considered Kidnapping in Texas?


    Bail for kidnapping chargesOriginally, kidnapping was only recognized as a crime when someone abducted a person or child and took them to another country. This is obviously not the case today. Today, the charge of kidnapping is defined as abducting, forcibly restraining, or confining someone against their will.

    Different states include different elements to this definition by factoring in things like the intent to inflict bodily harm or holding a person for ransom. Other states focus on confinement, making any intentional confinement, restraint, or taking of a person done to be considered kidnapping.

    Kidnapping and Abduction in Texas

    Texas kidnapping laws are broken down into three categories: First-degree kidnapping, second-degree kidnapping, and third-degree kidnapping. Below, we explain the differences and punishments for kidnapping in Texas.

    First-Degree Aggravated Kidnapping

    First-degree kidnapping is defined as someone who intentionally abducts another person with the intent to:

    • Hold them for ransom or reward
    • Use them as a shield or hostage
    • Attempt to commit a crime and/or flee after attempting to or committing said crime
    • Physically injure them, including committing sexual assault
    • Terrorize the and/or a third person
    • Interfere with any governmental or political event

    So, knowingly abducting another person with the intent to terrorize are the barometers for first-degree kidnapping. The punishment for aggravated kidnapping in Texas is usually life in prison. Other punishments can be as severe as up to 90 years in prison or no less than five years in prison.

    Second-Degree Kidnapping

    Second-degree kidnapping in the State of Texas occurs when the offender voluntarily releases the victim in a safe place. It is punishable by up to 20 years and no less than two years in prison.

    Third-Degree Kidnapping

    In the State of Texas, third degree kidnapping involves knowingly abducting another person. The crime is NOT considered third-degree kidnapping if:

    • There is no intent to use or threaten to use deadly force
    • The victim is related to the kidnapper
    • Lawful control of the victim is the kidnapper’s only intentOffenders of third-degree felonies can face no more than 10 years and no less than two years in prison. A fine of up to $10,000 is possible in all degrees of kidnapping.

    Can I Get Bail for Kidnapping Charges in Texas?

    Aggravated kidnapping is certainly one of the more severe crimes in the Texas penal code. But, it is still possible to be granted bail for kidnapping charges. If you or someone you love has been granted bail as an option, contact PCS Bail Bonds now. We are available 24/7 and will help facilitate your bail quickly.


    “Texas Kidnapping Abduction Laws,” U.S. Legal, last accessed August 12 2016;

    Theoharis, M., “Kidnapping Laws and Penalties,” Criminal Defense Lawyer, last accessed August 12,, 2016;

    Author: Paul Schuder

    Paul Schuder is the owner of PCS Bail Bonds and Profession Court Services (PCS). He is a lifelong resident of the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Paul has over twenty years of courthouse experience, and has been in businesses involving the criminal justice system for his entire career. Paul has helped thousands of clients with their pursuit of justice and fair play. Mr. Schuder maintains high levels of respect with all the court house personnel, especially judges and attorneys. Using a close hands-on personal approach and a keen understanding of all cultures, helps people when they need it most. Add me to your G+

    Need to Bail Someone Out of Jail Immediately?Call Us Now at 817-335-1655(We Serve All of Tarrant County, Texas)