Unlawful Restraint

Pittsburgh Unlawful Restraint Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with unlawful restraint in Pennsylvania (a kidnapping offense), you could be facing criminal penalties that may have significant consequences.  Unlawful restraint is prosecuted as either a first-degree misdemeanor or a second-degree felony, depending on the circumstances.  Simply put: the stakes are high.

Failure to successfully defend against the prosecution’s charge could lead to a conviction that has a lifelong negative impact.  You’ll therefore want to speak with a qualified Pittsburgh unlawful restraint defense attorney at McKinney Law to learn more about how to proceed with litigation so that you can avoid liability.

What is Unlawful Restraint?

Section 2902 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes describes the offense of unlawful restraint.  According to Section 2902, a person will be found guilty of unlawful restraint if they knowingly:

  1. Restrain another unlawfully in circumstances exposing him to risk of serious bodily injury; or
  2. Holds another in a condition of involuntary servitude.

The standard offense is a first-degree misdemeanor with penalties of up to five years imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines.  If your victim was a minor – whether or not you are their parent – the unlawful restraint offense will be prosecuted as a second-degree felony with penalties of up to 10 years imprisonment and up to $25,000 in fines.

If you’ve been charged with unlawful restraint, you are not entirely without options.  You can avoid liability by demonstrating that you did not “knowingly” restrain the victim or that your restraint was lawful.  For example, if the victim gave you their consent to be restrained, you cannot be held liable.

Unlawful Restraint Does Not Require Physical Imposition of Force

It’s important to note that the offense of unlawful restraint does not require direct physical restraint (i.e., touching or some other direct imposition of force).  One can be found criminally liable for unlawful restraint on the basis of a threat of violence or other coercion.  For example, you could be held liable for unlawful restraint if you threatened to hurt someone unless they remained confined in a room.

Contact an Experienced Pittsburgh Unlawful Restraint Defense Attorney at McKinney Law for Assistance

If you’ve been accused of unlawful restraint, then you may be feeling rather anxious about the prospect of criminal litigation.  After all, the penalties can be significant and life-altering.  If you are convicted of unlawful restraint, you may not only be exposed to potential jail time and fines, but you could have trouble reintegrating into society and securing consistent employment.

The attorneys at McKinney Law are tenacious advocates with a deeply client-focused orientation.  We believe in working closely with clients from the very beginning of the attorney-client engagement to ensure that we have the information necessary to comprehensively represent their interests in criminal litigation.  This tailored approach to advocacy has served us well over the years, helping us successfully defend  those who have been charged with unlawful restraint, among other offenses.

Interested in speaking to a member of our team?  Schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh unlawful restraint defense attorney at McKinney Law.  Call (412) 520-3301 or send us a message online.