Texas Penal Code 25.031 – Agreement to Abduct from Custody
WHAT IS AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY IN TEXAS?
The Texas law against agreement to abduct from custody prohibits agreeing to pay someone to abduct a child under 18 years of age from another who has rightful custody.
WHAT IS THE AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY LAW IN TEXAS?
Tex. Penal Code § 25.031. AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY.
(a) A person commits an offense if the person agrees, for remuneration or the promise of remuneration, to abduct a child younger than 18 years of age by force, threat of force, misrepresentation, stealth, or unlawful entry, knowing that the child is under the care and control of a person having custody or physical possession of the child under a court order, including a temporary order, or under the care and control of another person who is exercising care and control with the consent of a person having custody or physical possession under a court order, including a temporary order.
(b) An offense under this section is a state jail felony.
WHAT IS THE PENALTY CLASS FOR AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY IN TEXAS?
Agreeing to abduct a child from custody is a state jail felony, punishable by 180 days to two years in a state jail facility.
WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT RANGE FOR AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY IN TEXAS?
The punishment range for agreeing to abduct a child from custody, a state jail felony, is 180 days to two years in a state jail facility, and a maximum $10,000 fine.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY IN TEXAS?
A person charged with agreement to abduct from custody may be eligible for probation after a conviction, or deferred adjudication without a conviction, for a period between two and five years, with the possibility of extending the community supervision period for up to ten years.
WHAT ARE THE DEFENSES TO AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY IN TEXAS?
The statute does not authorize specific defenses to agreement to abduct from custody. A person accused thereof may assert any defense in an attempt to negate at least one of the elements the State must prove at trial. For example, an accused may argue he or she lacked the requisite knowledge or intent to commit the offense.
WHAT IS THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS FOR AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY IN TEXAS?
The limitation period for agreement to abduct from custody, a state jail felony, is three years.
AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY IN TEXAS
The law prohibiting a person from agreeing to abduct a child from custody was enacted to protect children by discouraging people from planning to commit more serious offenses, such as interference with child custody, kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping.
TEXAS AGREEMENT TO ABDUCT FROM CUSTODY COURT CASES
There are few cases in Texas regarding agreement to abduct from custody, as people are more often charged with offenses such as interference with child custody.
- For example, in Dewalt v. State, the defendant and her ex-husband were involved in a custody dispute over their son. Prior to the court awarding the father sole custody, the mother took her son to her parents’ home an hour away, and contacted a friend to take them to Mexico if the court ruled adversely to her. She ultimately fled to Mexico with her son, and they were apprehended three years later.
The defendant was convicted of interference with child custody. Had her plan to flee been foiled, however, she could have been charged with agreement to abduct from custody.
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DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15
Driving facts involved failing to maintain a single lane and speeding. Client refused breath test and forced law enforcement to obtain search warrant for blood. Blood test result was not used after challenge from Defense, and State waived and abandoned charge.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client was a college student, worried about the collateral consequences of an alcohol offense. After negotiation and review of the traffic stop, the case was dismissed. Client received no criminal conviction. The charge was later expunged and deleted from client’s record.
DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED .15+
Client was involved in minor accident. Client was at fault in accident. A young executive, client was concerned that a criminal conviction for DWI would result in termination. After review of the traffic stop, it was clear the officer lacked probable cause for arrest. State eventually dismissed DWI charge. Client received no criminal conviction.
Client, a military veteran, was facing up to one year in jail. State could not prove intoxication by alcohol, and was prepared to proceed on loss of use by marijuana. After challenging the State to prove that marijuana was ingested at or near time of driving, and that marijuana impaired client’s driving, the State dismissed the case on the day of trial.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Driving facts involved a false claim by police that taillight was out. After challenging the reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop, the State was forced to dismiss the case when video did not match police report. Client has since expunged arrest, and has no criminal record.
DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Client is a public school teacher and faced immediate termination upon conviction. The facts of the case were bad. State was unwilling to budge in negotiation, and matter was set for trial – the last shot at avoiding a conviction and preserving client’s livelihood. State was forced to dismiss on day of trial. Client has no criminal record, and has since expunged the DWI arrest.
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