Regardless of your intent to follow through with a threat, making a threat to injure or kill another person or group of people is illegal in the state of California. Posting it on a Facebook page, sending it in the mail, or saying it to someone in person are all criminal acts. A murder defense attorney would have to prove that verbal or written communication was not intended as a threat to harm another and that the individual feared for his or her safety, otherwise you could face a misdemeanor or a felony charge.
Those convicted of a criminal threat charge could face a strike under California’s three strikes rule as well as prison time without ever causing any physical harm. To illustrate the seriousness of such intimidations, here are some examples of what might be construed as a criminal threat:
If you said something off the cuff, however, and it was not intended as a threat, you may not be held liable for that statement as an immediate or dangerous threat. What makes these cases so complex is the potential for ambiguity. Intent, understanding, words, and timing all play a role in whether a comment or action is, in fact, a criminal threat.
A criminal threats charge is serious. It could count as a “strike” under the California Three Strikes Law – potentially resulting in jail time. Due to the subjective nature of this crime, it is an unfortunate fact that many innocent people face charges for this offense. It is our mission as dedicated defense attorneys to prove our clients’ innocence, or at least reduce the penalties for a guilty verdict with strong, strategic defense plans. The following are a few possible defenses to a criminal threats charge in Riverside:
The odds may be on your side in a criminal threats charge, as these cases are notoriously difficult for the prosecutor to prove. However, the best way to optimize your odds of a successful defense is by hiring the right attorney. Our Riverside defense attorneys have years of experience representing criminal threat defendants. We can strategize the best possible defense for your specific case, giving you the highest odds of exoneration. Contact us today to discuss your defense options.
At the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, our criminal threats attorneys in Riverside start every criminal threat case by sitting down with our clients and gaining a clear understanding of the events that transpired. We examine any record of the interaction as well as circumstantial evidence that may affect the outcome of the case. Often, our criminal threats lawyers discover the perceived threat was:
It is also possible that the threat never occurred or was never was intended to be viewed as a threat. For a criminal threat claim to hold up in court, the prosecution has to prove that the fear caused by the aggressor was apparent, reasonable, and lasted for a significant amount of time. Telling someone to watch his or her back is not a criminal threat unless there is sufficient context to prove otherwise. The plausibility of a threat is also taken into consideration. For instance, if someone threatens a drone strike on another’s home, that claim is likely non-actionable.
A criminal threat charge is not a light matter defendant can shrug off. The charge comes with a real threat of jail or prison time and significant fines. While they are difficult for the prosecution to prove, many threat cases involve written or recorded interactions that can be difficult to evaluate in the proper context. Without an experienced criminal threats attorney, an unfounded criminal threat case may result in harsh penalties.
Our Riverside criminal threats lawyers at the Law Offices of Graham Donath, APC, may be able to have the charges against you dropped or reduced successfully. There are a number of defense strategies we can use to keep you from facing sentencing for a crime that never existed. Let us help you protect your life and future from unsubstantiated claims of criminal threat. Get started by calling our Riverside criminal threats attorneys any time for more information.