In California, law enforcement officers and prosecutors take threats very seriously. The law does not care whether the threat was made in the heat of the moment during an argument or carefully planned out. In either situation, the accused may be charged with making a terrorist or criminal threat. Because of the severity of the penalties that these charges may carry, you will need an experienced Orange County criminal threat attorney to help you navigate the court proceedings and fight for the best outcome possible.
After you are charged with making a terrorist or criminal risk, contact the team at The SoCal Law Network to speak with highly skilled attorneys to help defend you against the charges. Call 949-305-7995 to schedule a free consultation today.
How Can An Orange County Criminal threat attorney Help?
There are a number of defenses that a skilled Orange County criminal threat lawyer can use on your behalf. After thoroughly reviewing the details of your case, The SoCal Law Network will be able to better assist you on which defense may work best for you. Some of the most common defense strategies include:
The threat was too vague – If a man tells his ex-girlfriend, “you’re going to be sorry” this may not be considered a criminal threat, since it is too vague.
The threat was conditional – Telling an ex-wife if she marries and has kids with another man, you’ll kill him is a conditional risk. Because the threat was made under the condition that other events happen, this may not be considered a criminal risk.
The receiver was not in a reasonable state of fear – A threat of dropping an anvil on someone’s home or using super powers to harm someone could not possibly be taken seriously by the receiver, and therefore should not have caused a reasonable state of fear.
The receiver’s fear was not prolonged – Our attorneys may find that the threat was so insignificant, it could not have caused the receiver to live in a prolonged state of fear.
The defendant did not communicate the threat via verbal, written or electronic means – The law requires that the threat be made via verbal, written or electronic communication. If the defendant made a threatening gesture, this may not be considered a risk since it does not meet these guidelines.
The accuser is not telling the truth – In some cases, the defendant may be innocent of making any sort of gesture or questionable risk. In these situations, our defense attorneys will work tirelessly to poke holes in the prosecutor’s investigation and attempt to prove that the accuser is not being honest.
The team of Orange County criminal risk defense lawyers at The SoCal Law Network will stand by your side through the entire court proceedings, arguing you case and working to achieve the best possible outcome. Call 949-305-7995 to schedule a free consultation today.
What Are the Criminal and Terrorist Threat Laws?
Previously known as terrorist threats, the California law now refers to all threats as criminal threats. You may be charged with making criminal threats if you threaten to injure or kill someone and meet these conditions:
Because of your threat, the person is in a reasonably sustained state of fear for his or her own safety or the safety of his or her family.
The threat is specific, unconditional and unequivocal.
The threat is communicated either verbally, in writing or through an electronic device.
It’s important to note that there is no mention of intent. Many defendants are surprised to learn that although they had no intention of carrying out the threat, they can still be charged with making a criminal threat.
Because of the broad definition of terrorist and criminal threats under California law, you may be charged for making threats related to domestic terrorism, domestic violence, cyber bullying, or child abuse.
What are considered criminal threats?
Criminal threats are threats to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person with the intent that the statement made, either verbally or in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, taken as a threat, even if there is not intent to carry the threat out, that causes the other party to reasonable be in sustained fear for their own safety or be concerned for the safety of their own immediate family.
Are criminal threats a felony or misdemeanor?
Yes, it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony
Who determines what harassment is?
There is no such thing as criminal harassment under California law; however, there are charges that can be applied to annoying telephone calls, child annoyance, stalking and other types of similar behavior that can be charges as either a misdemeanor or felony
Are text messages harassment?
They can be depending on the nature of the text messages
Is ethnic intimidation a hate crime?
It can be depending on the nature of the intimidation
What are the potential consequences of conviction?
A conviction can have an impact on a person’s ability to obtain employment, immigration status, voting rights, financial aid, government benefits and result in a jail or prison sentence.
Criminal and Terrorist Threat Examples
To understand what can be considered a criminal and terrorist risk in the eyes of the law, take a look at these examples:
An individual who sends an email to a former employer threatening to seek revenge after being fired may be charged with making a criminal risk.
Someone who faxes in a bomb threat to a crowded school, stadium, movie theater or other public facility may be charged with making a criminal threat.
An individual who holds a gun up and threatens to shoot someone in the room is making a criminal threat.
Sending a text message to a co-worker or classmate threatening to set fire to his or her home is considered a criminal threat.
Although you could have made any of these threats without the intention of following through with the crime, you could still be charged with making a terrorist and criminal risk. That’s why it’s important to work with the knowledgeable lawyers from The SoCal Law Network to help you fight the charges.
What Are the Penalties For Being Convicted?
Terrorist and criminal threats are known as a “wobbler” offense in California, meaning they can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony possibly depending on the defendant’s prior record and the specifics of the threat. If the charge is a misdemeanor, you may face:
Up to one year in county jail
A maximum fine of $1,000
If the charge is a felony, the penalties are increased and you may face:
Up to three years in state prison
A maximum fine of $10,000
If you were in possession of a firearm or other deadly weapon while you made the threat, you may face up to an additional year in state prison. Remember, each threat that you make will be treated separately in the courts. If you make threats on multiple occasions or directed towards more than one person, you may face the penalties above for each threat.
If convicted, you may also be asked to pay restitution to those you have threatened. This may occur in cases where the terrorist risk was directed towards a public facility, gathering or transportation system that led to a mass evacuation or inconvenience.
Have you or a loved one been charged with making a terrorist or criminal risk? Contact the team at The SoCal Law Network to speak with a highly skilled Orange County criminal threat attorney to defend you against the charges. Call 949-305-7995 to schedule a free consultation today.
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