Criminal threats, also known as terroristic threats, can be charged either as a felony or as a misdemeanor. The important thing to know about a criminal or terroristic threats charge is that if it is charged as a felony then it is a strike offense. Either one of these charges has very serious consequences and should not be taken lightly.
If you have been charged with terroristic threats in the Redwood City area, reach out to our lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, for guidance. You can call our criminal defense team at 866-477-0965.
Penalties for Charges of Terroristic Threats in Redwood City
A strike offense will subject an individual to either double the maximum punishment of a new felony offense, or potentially a life sentence if the defendant has two or more prior strike convictions. A first-time offender who is convicted of making criminal or terrorist threats can face up to three years in state prison. A conviction for a misdemeanor criminal or terroristic threats charge can carry up to one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine or both.
The district attorney has wide discretion in determining whether or not to file a criminal or terroristic threats charge as a felony or a misdemeanor. Among the things that a district attorney considers when choosing whether to file your criminal charge as a felony or misdemeanor are your criminal history, any prior threats or violence against the same alleged victim, the age or disability of the victim and the actual severity of the threat itself.
It is important for you to know that even if you are charged with making a felony terroristic threat, the experienced San Mateo criminal threats defense lawyers at Ahmed & Sukaram, Attorneys at Law, can help you seek a reduction of your charges from a felony to a misdemeanor under Penal Code § 17(b).
Defending Against Terrorist Threats Charges
In order for the district attorney to prove a criminal or terrorist threat has been made, he or she needs to prove the defendant:
- Threatened to kill or seriously injure the alleged victim and/or his or her family, orally or in writing
- Intended his or her statement to be understood as a threat by the alleged victim
The DA must also demonstrate that the alleged threat was so clear, immediate, unconditional and specific that it was reasonable for the victim to fear for his or her safety, or that of his or her immediate family.
Several issues arise when defending against criminal or terrorist threats charges. Among the most common is whether the words used were enough to communicate an immediate prospect of the execution of the threat. For example, an alleged threat that is remote in time, i.e., "I will kill next month when I come back to town" is likely not sufficient.
Another defense can arise when the threat is relayed through a third party, i.e., another person, or a social media outlet like Twitter® or Facebook®. In this situation, the issue is whether the defendant specifically intended for his or her alleged threat to be communicated to the alleged victim.
It is also important to know that the criminal charge of making terrorist threats was not enacted to punish emotional outbursts. It targets only those who try to instill fear in others. Criminal threats do not occur by merely making angry utterances, however violent. No matter what issues you are up against in your charges, we can help build a solid defense to protect your rights.
Contact Redwood City Felony Threat Penalties Attorneys Today
In order to determine whether you have a defense in your criminal threats case, contact the Redwood City attorneys at Ahmed & Sukaram right away to discuss your rights. You can call our offices at 866-477-0965.