Los Angeles Terrorist Threats Lawyer
What is a Terrorist Threat?
A terrorist threat is a threat of violence, threat to hurt, injure or kill others with the intent of intimidating or frightening them, or causing public panic.
Examples of terrorist or criminal threats include:
- Calling in a bomb threat to the local post office
- Sending a threatening e-mail to an abortion clinic or church
- Terrorizing a local family for religious or political reasons
- Threatening to hurt your ex-wife's new boyfriend
- Threatening harm or injury to a neighbor.
The threat may be made in writing, electronically, by phone or in person. It can be made against an individual, a group of people, or a public building or work place.
Terrorist Threats Law in California
Under California Penal Code Section 422, criminal threats are taken very seriously.
To be convicted, the alleged act must meet the following five conditions:
- The accused willfully threatened to unlawfully kill or unlawfully inflict great bodily injury on another person
- The accused made the threat with the intent that it be taken as a threat
- The threat is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey a gravity of purpose and the immediate prospect of execution
- The threat actually caused sustained fear in the victim (for a period of time that extends beyond what is momentary, fleeting, or transitory)
- The sustained fear was reasonable
Terrorist and Criminal Threats Penalties
In California, a terrorist or criminal threat may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending upon the seriousness of the threat and the discretion of the prosecutor. The punishment will vary accordingly and may include jail time, prison time, parole or probation, and large fines; and you may lose your right to vote or own a gun.
- Misdemeanor: the court can impose probation (informal) with or without jail time, community service, physical labor, counseling, restitution, fines ($200 to $2,000), and "stay-away" orders.
- Felony: In California, a terrorist or criminal threat is punishable by up to three years in state prison. Criminal or terrorist threats are also considered to be a "strike" under California's Three Strikes Law.
Defending a Terrorist and Criminal Threats Charge
If you've been charged with a terrorist threat, the prosecutor must prove all five requirements listed above. There is a fine line between an off-hand statement or a joke and an actual criminal threat that can be punished by law. The court will weigh the evidence against the First Amendment protecting freedom of speech.
Terrorist Threats Attorney in Los Angeles
The legal team at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners is made up of skilled Los Angeles criminal defense lawyers who provide aggressive representation against allegations of criminal or terrorist threats. We will pursue and prepare all defenses to these charges. We will also raise issues such as lack of or insufficient evidence, mistaken identity, or your right to freedom of speech where applicable. We will do this by:
- Immediately challenging the charges
- Conducting extensive investigations
- Interviewing law enforcement officials
- Locating and interviewing all witnesses associated with the threat
- Presenting evidence against the person(s) making the charges
Hire a firm that is not afraid to go after a "not guilty" verdict at trial!
Contact a Los Angeles terrorist threats lawyer