The Texas Agreement to Abduct from Custody law gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you agreed to forcibly abduct a child who is being cared for under the terms of a court order in exchange for some kind of compensation.
FAQs about the
Agreement to Abduct from Custody law in Texas
- What is the current Texas law about Agreement to Abduct from Custody?
- How can I be charged with an Agreement to Abduct from Custody offense in Texas?
- What is the statute of limitation for Agreement to Abduct from Custody in Texas?
- What is the penalty for a Texas Agreement to Abduct from Custody offense?
- Can you get probation for Agreement to Abduct from Custody in Texas?
- What level of crime is Agreement to Abduct from Custody in Texas?
This offense is similar to a Criminal Conspiracy offense in that the agreement is in itself illegal. The Agreement to Abduct from Custody law does not require the abduction to take place.
Have you been charged with Agreement to Abduct from Custody? Book a consultation to discuss legal representation with attorneys Paul Saputo and Nicholas Toufexis today.
The Texas legislature codified this criminal offense in Texas Penal Code Section 25.04. The legislature did not update this law in 2023. In fact, this law has not been amended since 2007.
The Penal Code codifies the Texas Agreement to Abduct from Custody law under Title 6 “Offenses Against The Family,” Chapter 25 “Offenses Against The Family.” This chapter includes crimes that focus on familial, parent, and spousal relationships. Some of the offenses relate to sexual or violent behavior, while others deal with custody and possession of children. Learn more about the Texas offense of Agreement to Abduct from Custody below.
The current Texas law defines the offense of Agreement to Abduct from Custody in Penal Code Section §25.031 as follows:
(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.
The law applies to natural parents and adopted parents, as well as anyone else. But it only covers children who are being cared for by a person who has a court order to care for the child and those to whom such a person gave consent to care for a child.
You can be charged with Agreement to Abduct From Custody in Texas if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 25.031(a) as described in the section above have been met. You do not have to have actually abducted the child; the prohibited act under this law is the agreement. The state’s attorneys might prove an agreement through many different forms of evidence. There does not have to be a written agreement or something explicitly set out in unambiguous terms.
Agreement to Abduct from Custody offenses have a three-year limitations period.
A conviction for Agreement to Abduct From Custody in Texas is punished as a State Jail Felony, with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and jail time of up to two years. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors here.
The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure allows both judges and juries to grant probation for Agreement to Abduct from Custody, and judges are also allowed to accept deferred adjudication plea deals.
Note, however, that judges may not grant community supervision after a conviction if (1) the defendant used or exhibited a deadly weapon during the commission of the felony or immediate flight thereafter and (2) the defendant used or exhibited the deadly weapon himself or was a party to the offense and knew that a deadly weapon would be used or exhibited.
The Penal Code classifies this offense as a state jail felony, punishable by up to two years in a state jail.
Learn more about the penalty range for this offense in the section above.
^1. Texas Penal Code §25.031. This law is current as of the 88th Legislature Regular Session.^2. See Code of Criminal Procedure 12.01(9)^3. Texas Penal Code §25.031(b)^4. See Chapter 42, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Art. 42A.054, Art. 42A.056, Art. 42A.102 .^5. Art. 42A.054(b), Texas Code of Criminal Procedure