When threatening to injure someone, you may be held responsible for a “criminal threat”. Under Penal Code 422 PC, every person who threatens to commit violence or bodily injury to another person can be, according to the law, considered and treated as a criminal. As a result, punishment may involved spending no more than one year in the state prison.
So what exactly is considered a “criminal threat” and what are the legal rights of those who received the threat?
Here is all the information that will help you understand the law and regulations around criminal threats.
They Are Illegal
Every threat, no matter how small or petty it may seem, is illegal. As long as one person threatened to injury the other person, it is considered a criminal threat. The person who willfully threatened to commit a crime can be held responsible, and if the victim (the person who received the threat) seeks help from the authorities, the person who threatened can face time in prison.
Penal Code 422 clearly states that:
“Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for hir or her immediate family’s safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the country jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.”
If you believe that you unintentionally made a threat towards someone out of anger, consult with Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys and seek help and counseling. They are the only ones who can help you clear things out.
What is a “Criminal Threat”?
A criminal threat is when you willfully threaten to kill or injure someone and:
- That person is placed in a state of reasonably sustained fear for their life and safety
- The threat is specific and unequivocal
- You communicated the threat verbally, in writing or via an electronically transmitted device
Whether or not you have the ability to carry out a threat, you can be criminally charged regardless. Even If you do not actually intend to execute the threat, if you were reported to the authorities, you will face penalties.
Be careful what you say, and in your worse moments of anger, try to control what comes out of your mouth. Otherwise, you will face serious penalties and possibly end up in prison. contact criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles if you were threatened by someone, and seek help and protection right away. You never know if the threat is real; better to be safe than sorry.