Although threatening doesn’t sound like a crime, it is. If accused of threatening someone, you could face serious criminal charges and sobering repercussions. The laws surrounding this offense in California are pretty cut and dry but you might be surprised at just how easy it is to commit this crime.
We’ve likely all threatened someone before. Whether we were 12 and the “victim” was our older brother or if it was a more serious confrontation as an adult, once those words are spoken they can’t be taken back. And even if you don’t have any intention on following through on the threat, you can face a criminal threatening charge.
In order for you to be found guilty of threatening, the prosecution doesn’t have to prove that you intended to follow through on the threat.
The offense of threatening happens when you threat to commit a crime that could result in great bodily injury or death to someone and your threat puts the alleged victim in fear. The moment you speak the words “I’m gonna kill you!” and the other party’s heart starts to race, you could be guilty of criminal threatening.
It could be that you were provoked. Perhaps you let your anger get the best of you. Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the actual threat—the crime of threatening someone can change your life.
In general, threatening is punishable in one year behind bars—either in a county jail or a state prison.
Having represented people accused of threatening, it’s one of those criminal charges that often shocks the defendant. “I can’t believe I’m facing a year in jail for this!” But as minor as it seems and even though you really didn’t plan on hurting someone, the penalties are very, very real.
As a criminal defense attorney, it’s my job to help defend you against these charges. And if you are guilty of the offense, mitigate the potential penalties you could be facing. Depending on your criminal history and the circumstances of your case, perhaps you can get probation in lieu of jail time or maybe we can get the charges reduced.
When facing any criminal charge, a consultation with a criminal defense attorney should be your first step. Contact our offices today.
Ref: California Penal Code Section 422