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Unlawful Restraint

June 14, 2018

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

A Pennsylvania man was recently charged with a laundry list of serious criminal offenses when he stabbed and shot to death his 14-year-old cousin. The 20-year-old defendant allegedly stabbed his cousin over 80 times and shot her in the temple with a firearm. She died days after the brutal attack, and forensic evidence shows that she attempted to climb out the bathroom window during the onslaught, but was unable to escape. While the murder charges are more serious, the defendant also faces charges of criminal assault, carrying a firearm, kidnapping, unlawful restraint of a minor, and more. Unlawful restraint of a minor, alone, is a serious felony offense, punishable by two to seven years in prison. If you are facing unlawful restraint of a child or kidnapping charges, you need to call an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer immediately.

Unlawful Restraint: First Degree Misdemeanor or Second Degree Felony Depending on Age of Victim

Title 18 statute 2902 of the Pennsylvania criminal code lists the following types of unlawful restraint and the corresponding penalties for the offender:

Unlawful restraint of an adult–First degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,500:

  • Restrains a person and in doing so exposes them to serious risk of bodily injury; or
  • Holds a person in a condition of involuntary servitude.

Unlawful restraint of a minor when the offender is not the victim’s parent–Second degree felony, punishable by two to seven years in prison:

  • The offender is not the victim’s parent and they restrain a minor under the age of 18 and in doing so expose them to serious risk of bodily injury; or
  • The offender is not the victim’s parent and they restrain a minor under the age of 18 in under the condition of involuntary servitude.

Unlawful restraint of a minor when offender is the victim’s parent–Second degree felony, punishable by two to seven years in prison:

  • Parent of the victim restrains a minor under the age of 18 and in doing so expose them to serious risk of bodily injury; or
  • Parent of the victim restrains a minor under the age of 18 under the condition of involuntary servitude.

A “parent” can be the biological parent, a step parent, a guardian, or an adoptive parent.

Reach Out to Our Philadelphia Criminal Defense Team for Immediate Assistance

Make no mistake: even as a parent you can receive a harsh criminal punishment for restraining your child, even if they were uninjured and you had every right to restrain them. Neighbors, family, romantic partners, and spouses can all take situations out of context, see only what they want to see, or blow a minor event out of proportion for their own gain. Commonly, allegations of unlawful restraint are used in custody battles, and the consequences can be severe if you lose. Protect yourself from these unfair allegations by contacting one of the experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers of van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim today.

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