Verbal Threats Are A Crime In Some States

Law Blog

In the heat of the moment, you may find yourself saying things that you don't actually mean. These can include aggressive language or threats. While this is always a bad idea, some threats are considered to be protected free speech and other threats might lead to criminal charges. 

Penalties for Criminal Threats

In states that prohibit criminal threats, the type of threats that are considered criminal are those that threaten serious bodily harm or death. However, if you are charged with this crime, you might face a misdemeanor or a felony charge. You might also spend several years in prison.

What Constitutes a Criminal Threat

You do not have to carry out the threat for it to be considered a criminal threat. You will simply have to make a statement that would be clearly seen as a threat. Also, the threat could be directed at the immediate family of the target instead of being directed at you. An immediate family includes a spouse, children, and anyone who regularly resides in your household. 

How to Avoid a Lengthy Sentence

Criminal threats are taken very seriously. To avoid facing serious criminal penalties, it's important to speak with a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can. A lawyer will explain how current case law affects your case and will help you determine the best way you can defend yourself against these charges.

Fitting the Definition of a Criminal Threat

Because verbal threats involve communication and all forms of communication can be very complex, the statements that are described as threats might be misinterpreted. The statement might be too vague, ambiguous, or might not be specific enough. 

One of the questions that your criminal defense attorney will raise is whether an individual could reasonably fear for their life as a result of the threat. It might also be clear that the recipient of the threat was not in fear for their life at the time of the incident. The individual needs to have actually been afraid and the fear also needs to have been sustained for a long time.

Threats need to be conveyed verbally, electronically, or in writing. A threat cannot be conveyed using gestures alone. To prove that the threat didn't fall under what is considered a criminal threat, a criminal defense lawyer will interview witnesses and will also examine the evidence relevant to your case so they can prove your innocence or have your charges reduced.

Reach out to a local criminal defense lawyer to learn more.


3 January 2023

Choosing To Fight

Although I am far from perfect, I have focused on abiding by the local laws for the vast majority of my life. Unfortunately, about five years ago, I realized that I was being accused of a crime that I didn't commit. I thought about letting the trial run its course, but then I realized that fighting would be important to ensure my future. I teamed up with a great lawyer, and things became much easier overnight. My legal counsel told me what to do and what to avoid, and he was able to prove the facts in a court of law. This blog is all about choosing to fight charges.