Unlawful Restraint is defined in Section 20.02 of the Texas Penal Code as follows:
UNLAWFUL RESTRAINT. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly restrains another person.
This statute is very broad and covers a wide range of possibilities, like physically holding someone down, locking them in a room, handcuffing them, etc.
There is an important exception to this definition of Unlawful Restraint. Penal Code Section 20.02(d) says: “It is no offense to detain or move another under this section when it is for the purpose of effecting a lawful arrest or detaining an individual lawfully arrested.”
Therefore, if you had a good reason for restraining someone, and it was lawful, then you may be able to have the charges dropped.
“Restraint” is defined in Section 20.01(1) of the Texas Penal Code as “restrict[ing] a person’s movements without consent, so as to interfere substantially with the person’s liberty, by moving the person from one place to another or by confining the person.”
Within Section 20.01(1): Restraint is “without consent” if it is accomplished by:
(A) force, intimidation, or deception; or
(B) any means, including acquiescence of the victim, if:
(i) the victim is a child who is less than 14 years of age or an incompetent person and the parent, guardian, or person or institution acting in loco parentis has not acquiesced in the movement or confinement; or
(ii) the victim is a child who is 14 years of age or older and younger than 17 years of age, the victim is taken outside of the state and outside a 120-mile radius from the victim’s residence, and the parent, guardian, or person or institution acting in loco parentis has not acquiesced in the movement.
“In loco parentis” means to act in place of the parent.
It is important to hire a lawyer to defend you if you are charged with Unlawful Restraint. Mr. Garcia can help.