In California, a charge of criminal threats is a serious matter and if the accused is convicted of the crime, he or she will face severe penalties and fines. Formally known as a "terrorist threat", the crime of criminal threats involves threatening another individual with immediate harm wherein the threat results in the victim having reasonable and sustained fear.
In such cases, the prosecutor does not have to convince the jury whether or not the defendant truly intended to do physical harm to the victim. This makes criminal threat cases complicated. These types of crimes could occur in everyday situations such as a family dispute, schoolyard or workplace confrontation, argument between two drivers on the street, or during a disagreement between friends.
In any case, the prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the accused did in fact instill sustained fear upon the victim using threatening words. Sustainable fear is not a fleeting feeling, it must be proven that the victim actually feared they would be physically harmed or lose their life, for an extended period of time.
Possible Consequences of Criminal Threat Conviction:
- Criminal Record: Criminal threats can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the severity of the threats and the situation in which the threats were made. If convicted, this conviction could affect job prospects, professional licenses issued by the State of California, and immigration status.
- Prison Time: The accused could face up to 3 years in jail.
- Fines: The fines if convicted could reach up to $10,000.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for the crime of criminal threats in the Riverside County cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Hemet, Menifee, Wildomar, Perris, Banning, Riverside, Lake Elsinore or Corona, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. The experts at the Law Office of Nicolai Cocis will use strategic defense tactics to help dismiss or reduce your charges. To schedule a free consultation case, please contact us.