Dallas Unlawful Restraint Attorney

Dallas, Texas

Are You Looking for the Best Dallas Unlawful Restraint Attorney?

If you’re looking for the best Dallas Unlawful Restraint attorney, then Paul Saputo and Nick Toufexis want to represent you. For Dallas Unlawful Restraint cases, our top-rated defense attorneys lead the firm in providing exemplary legal representation.

Experienced Defense Against Unlawful Restraint Charges in Dallas

In our country, everyone has the inherent right to freedom. Being unlawfully confined can cause enduring trauma to the victim. Consequently, the laws surrounding Unlawful Restraint are stringent, and the penalties severe.

We’re not just Dallas Unlawful Restraint lawyers. We are warriors fighting unjust and corrupt government prosecutions with a history of success and a reputation for tenacity, courage and legal ingenuity.

In addition to our notable high-profile victories, our history of success also includes inconspicuous representation of numerous high-profile clients. Indeed, many of our biggest wins involved disposing of these cases quietly and out of the sight of the public. If you are accused of unlawfully restraining another person, it is crucial to seek the expertise of a seasoned violent crimes defense attorney. They may be able to demonstrate that the accusations against you are overstated or entirely fabricated.

Our experienced team is here to defend your rights and provide the guidance you need. Don’t navigate the criminal justice system alone. Call us today to take the first step toward your peace of mind and a strong Dallas Unlawful Restraint defense.

Contact a Dallas
Unlawful Restraint Lawyer

When you are ready to fight your case with us, schedule online or call us at 888-239-9305 to book a free, confidential consultation.

Choosing The Right Dallas Unlawful Restraint Lawyer Can Make A Huge Difference In Your Case Result

Why would you hire a former prosecutor? Surprisingly, some people believe that former prosecutors provide some special advantage. However, many of these attorneys seem to quickly push clients to a plea deal. If you really want someone who will fight for you or your loved one, get an attorney who has dedicated their life to protecting the accused.

At Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense, we are defense lawyers, first and foremost. We stake our reputation on bringing the fight to the state. We have never worked for the government and never will. Learn more about our team, awards, and some of our victories.

Do you need a Dallas Unlawful Restraint attorney? Book a consultation with attorneys Paul Saputo and Nicholas Toufexis today.

Or apply for a free consultation here

How do I get an Unlawful Restraint charge dropped in Dallas, Texas?

In order to get an Unlawful Restraint charge dropped in Dallas, you must convince the state that they cannot prove at least one of the elements of the offense as it is defined in Penal Code §20.02. Our lawyers are experts in the Texas law regarding Unlawful Restraint, and we leverage our legal knowledge to mount successful defenses to government prosecutions.

Thoroughly understanding both the Unlawful Restraint statute and related case law contributes to effectively defending you in court. As part of our practice, we publish and regularly update a statutory resource guide covering all Texas Penal Code crimes. We analyze the Unlawful Restraint statute in detail on the Unlawful Restraint offense page. We also maintain our expertise by keeping up with the latest case law affecting Unlawful Restraint cases in Dallas.

One such case is Phifer v. State.

Phifer v. State

In Phifer v. State, the Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District in Dallas on February 29, 2016, upheld the conviction of Anthony Phifer for attempted unlawful restraint of a child younger than 17 years old in Dallas County. The case centered on Phifer’s actions toward a nine-year-old child, where he was accused of grabbing her by the hair and arm, causing visible bruising and redness. Despite Phifer’s contention that the evidence was insufficient, the appellate court found that the jury could reasonably infer from his actions and the child’s testimony that he had the specific intent to restrain her.

The judgment was based on witness testimony and physical evidence that supported the child’s claims. The court highlighted Phifer’s specific actions, such as unbuttoning his shirt and blocking the child’s exit, as contributory factors in affirming the conviction. The child’s distressed state and physical markings were crucial in the jury’s determination that Phifer’s actions constituted an attempt to unlawfully restrain her.

This case illustrates the application of legal standards in assessing the sufficiency of evidence in cases involving the restraint of minors. It underscores the judiciary’s role in protecting children from harm and upholding convictions based on substantial, credible evidence. Phifer’s case serves as a reminder of the serious legal consequences that follow from actions that threaten the safety and liberty of children.

What do you need to know if you’re charged with Unlawful Restraint?

The Texas Penal Code defines Unlawful Restraint in Section 20.02: you can be charged with Unlawful Restraint if the police believe that you intentionally restrained another person against their will. Unlawful Restraint is a Class A misdemeanor that can be upgraded to a state jail felony if the victim was less than 17 years old at the time of the offense.

Unlawful Restraint can also be upgraded to a third-degree felony if the state proves that you put the victim at a “substantial risk of suffering serious bodily injury,” or that you “knowingly restrained an on-duty public servant.” Other factors that could enhance the charge include:

  • The victim was a child under 14 years old
  • You were related to a child victim
  • The victim was between the ages of 14 and 17
  • You restrained a child with the intent to assume lawful control of the child

Unlawful Restraint is usually punished less severely than the offense of Kidnapping. The offense was updated and amended in 2017 and 2023.

Law Enforcement Agencies in Dallas that Make Unlawful Restraint Arrests

Peace officers with the Texas Department of Public Safety, constable offices, and municipal police departments can make arrests for violations of Unlawful Restraint in Dallas. Law enforcement agencies in Dallas that most typically make Unlawful Restraint arrests include:

How do I win an Unlawful Restraint case in Dallas?

To beat an Unlawful Restraint charge in Dallas, Texas, you must utilize due process to confront all witnesses and challenge all evidence. This means disputing reasonable suspicion, probable cause, and all forensic evidence. You can’t win if you don’t fight.

Even if you believe you cannot beat the case, as your Dallas Unlawful Restraint attorney, we will look for every avenue to help you. If you want to plead guilty, we must still fight to protect your rights. We want to ensure that the case does not ruin your life. Sometimes the defense strategy requires us to get the best possible result short of a not guilty verdict.

Dallas Unlawful Restraint Attorney Case Defense Strategy

In order to form a winning Unlawful Restraint case defense strategy, we must thoroughly investigate the case. This includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and examining the prosecution’s evidence for weaknesses or inconsistencies. Accordingly, the preparation often starts even before the case begins. As soon as the police initiate an investigation or make an arrest, we can start our own investigation. If you want to win your case, then you should work to obtain exculpatory evidence. The state has police and investigators of their own working for them to gather evidence to support their case. As your Dallas Unlawful Restraint attorney, we can’t afford to let their evidence stand uncontroverted.

Our clients take advantage of our law firm’s comprehensive investigative resources. Our dedicated team comprising paralegals, investigators, and forensic experts, collaborates with our attorneys to lay the groundwork that fortifies our cases with their extensive investigative expertise.

How much does a lawyer charge for an Unlawful Restraint case in Dallas, Texas?

Attorney’s fees will vary. However, you can expect to pay from $5,000 to $25,000 on average for Unlawful Restraint cases in Dallas. Some Dallas Unlawful Restraint lawyers may charge much more depending on the complexity of the Dallas case. But be wary of lawyers who charge surprisingly low fees.

When consulting with a lawyer, remember to ask whether any any hourly fees apply. Additionally, most lawyers charge extra fees for trial, travel and expenses.

What to Do if Falsely Accused of Unlawful Restraint in Dallas

Even if someone has falsely accused you of Unlawful Restraint, you should nevertheless still always take this charge very seriously. You may think that the state may “drop charges” against you because you are innocent. But absent effective advocacy by a lawyer, the state will often take the case to trial and let the jury decide.

If the state has charged you with Unlawful Restraint, or if you are under investigation for the offense, then you should book an appointment or call us as soon as possible to speak with one of our Dallas Unlawful Restraint attorneys.

How can you modify your Dallas bond conditions after an Unlawful Restraint arrest?

Often times, judges will set your initial bond conditions using standard forms that do not take into account your particular situation. If you need to change your bond conditions, you will need to do so through petitioning the court.

If your case has already been filed, you have to file a motion to modify your bond conditions. If your case has not been filed, you will need to file a writ of habeas corpus. Usually, judges will set a hearing to consider these pleadings. At the hearing, you will need to present evidence and argue why your bond conditions should be modified.

Your Dallas Unlawful Restraint attorney will handle this process.

We often receive requests to modify ond conditions related to travel. In many cases, courts will restrict your travel, but you may need to travel for work or important family members. If you have a good reason to travel, courts will usually allow you to do so.

What happens at a Dallas arraignment?

At your arraignment, a Dallas judge will hear your plea of not guilty. In Dallas, you may not have an attorney at your initial arraignment. However, the court will not hear a guilty plea prior to your being represented by counsel. In addition, the court may also set bail and bond conditions if you have not already received them.

If the police have arrested you for Unlawful Restraint, then Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §17.40 requires Dallas judges to “impose any reasonable condition of bond related to the safety of a victim of the alleged offense or to the safety of the community” to secure your attendance at trial. If the state alleges that you violated those bond conditions, then the Dallas Sheriff’s Office can immediately return you to custody. Accordingly, judges have very broad power in determining bail conditions and bond amounts.

What is the most common sentence for Dallas Unlawful Restraint charge in Dallas?

The Texas Penal code outlines the range of punishment for all Unlawful Restraint convictions across the state. The Penal Code classifies the punishment for Unlawful Restraint as a Class A misdemeanor, state jail felony, or third degree felony, depending on the circumstances.

However, the actual punishment you receive will vary significantly based on a number of circumstances, including your prior criminal history and the circumstances of the offense. With this in mind, you can learn about the penalties that apply to all Texas convictions for Unlawful Restraint here. Otherwise, to learn more about what kind of punishment is typical in Dallas Unlawful Restraint cases, call us to schedule a consultation or book online.

Furthermore, all good Dallas Unlawful Restraint attorneys will also advise you on the collateral consequences of a Unlawful Restraint conviction. Collateral consequences are penalties derived from convictions that are not necessarily part of the penal code punishment.

What are some examples of Unlawful Restraint?

Consider some common scenarios of Unlawful Restraint:

  • A married couple argues in a hotel room, with one spouse preventing the other from leaving.
  • During a contentious breakup, one partner coerces the other to remain at their residence and blocks their departure.
  • Workers are ready to go home after their shift, but their supervisor locks the door and prohibits them from leaving the workplace.
  • A man resigns from his job, yet his employer prevents him from exiting the office.
  • An individual who witnesses a crime and wants to inform the police is forced to stay in place by others.

Anyone of these situations requires a skilled Unlawful Restraint lawyer.

About Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense

If you want to hire us as your Dallas Unlawful Restraint lawyers, then you should probably get to know us!

The Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense Lawyers

Paul Saputo and Nicholas Toufexis are partners at Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense PLLC and lead the entire trial team at the firm.

Mr. Saputo has practiced throughout Texas in more than fifty Texas state and federal courts and developed groundbreaking innovations in defense strategies and tactics. After graduating from the elite Duke University School of Law, a nationally recognized top-ten law school, Mr. Saputo started his career at Vinson & Elkins. More about Paul Saputo…

Mr. Toufexis is a veteran of the United States Navy and a graduate of SMU Dedman School of Law. He has dedicated his entire legal career to criminal defense, and has been with the firm since law school. Recently named a partner, Nick has achieved exceptional results in and out of court for years. More about Nick…


Numerous organizations have awarded Mr. Saputo recognition for his outstanding criminal defense work, for example:

  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent™ Rating
  • Recognized by Super Lawyers®
  • Consistently recognized by D Magazine in “Best Lawyers” for Criminal Defense
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America for 2024 under the Criminal Defense: White Collar practice area.

Paul Saputo was voted one of the Three Best Rated Criminal Defense Lawyers in Dallas

More Awards & Recognition…

Nicholas Toufexis has likewise received many distinctions as well.

  • Recognized by Super Lawyers®
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America for 2024 under the Criminal Defense: DWI/DUI practice area.


The Dallas Unlawful Restraint attorneys at Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense PLLC have obtained hundreds of victories in complex criminal litigation across Texas. Our victories include Not Guilty verdicts by jury acquittals, directed verdicts of Not Guilty, as well as both conditional and unconditional dismissals.

For descriptions and some details about example victories, visit our page on Notable Victories.


One example review from a real client:

Nick and his team are amazing! I’ve had such a stressful time with my situation, (even had to deal with lawyers who weren’t honest) but working with Nick had been a breeze. He was so patient and informative and had a much appreciated sense of urgency. He went above and beyond what I thought was possible and I’m so grateful. If you are looking for a lawyer who’s got your back, he’s your guy.

– Real client review posted on the Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense PLLC Google Profile.

See more client reviews and testimonials here.

Saputo Toufexis | Criminal Defense serves clients in the following Dallas County, Texas cities: Dallas, Garland, Irving, Mesquite, Richardson, Grand Prairie, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Balch Springs, Duncanville, University Park, Highland Park, Cockrell Hill, Hutchins, Wilmer, Seagoville, and Addison.

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