Unlawful Restraint of Child

UnUnlawful Restraint of Child

Have you been accused of the unlawful restraint of a child? If so, what does “unlawful restraint” mean?

Title 5 of the Texas Penal Code, which codifies various “Offenses Against the Person,” includes some of the most serious offenses a person can commit, defines offenses such as capital murder, kidnapping, human trafficking, sexual abuse, and others. Texas Penal Code § 20.02(a) defines “unlawful restraint” as an illegal act committed if a person knowingly or intentionally restrains another person. The offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in county jail or fines up to $4,000, or both.

As with other offenses in Texas, when a person allegedly commits this offense but unlawfully restrains a child the seriousness of the crime and severity of the punishments are legally enhanced.

If convicted of Unlawful Restraint of a Child, what are the possible consequences for unlawful restraint of a child in Texas?

A person accused of unlawfully restraining a child may be charged differently depending on the following circumstances:

  • State Jail Felony: if the defendant restrained a child younger than 17 years of age, the offense is punishable by 180 days-10 years in a Texas state jail.


  • Third-Degree Felony: if the above is true AND the defendant recklessly exposed the victim to a “substantial risk of serious bodily injury,” the offense is punishable by 2-10 years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000, or by both a fine and prison time.

What Happens if I was only trying to control a child out of concern for safety? 

In Texas, a person may legally “restrain” a child in certain situations, such as locking a child in their room, and only if 1) the child was younger than 14 years of age OR 2) the child is a relative AND 3) the only intention for locking the room was to lawfully control the child.

Defending North Texans Against Unlawful Restraint

If you are facing Unlawful Restraint of a Child in Plano, Texas, it is crucial that you find an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights and freedom. The criminal defense lawyers at Barbieri Law Firm have decades of experience fighting against these types of charges, and they have a proven track record of aggressively fighting for their clients and delivering successful outcomes.

Our skilled attorneys are dedicated to providing personalized attention and top-quality representation to each client we serve. So, if you need expert criminal defense in Plano, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team at Barbieri Law Firm today. Contact us now.