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Is There A Criminal Threats Law in California?

Are you curious about charges under California Penal Code 422pc?

Criminal threats refer to the crime of putting someone in fear. This can be an especially confusing crime to understand if a person has recently been accused, and because of its ambiguity or simply the threat of fear, this means that you could wind up facing criminal charges for a situation that was blown out of proportion.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer for Criminal Threats?

However, it is a big mistake to ignore the possibility of consequences with criminal threats. Criminal threats involve situations in which you threaten to physically harm or kill someone and that person is put in a state of fear, that threat is specific and you communicate the threat through an electronic device in writing or verbally. Whether or not you actually have the ability to carry out the threat does not matter when it comes to the charge of a criminal threat.

What if I Didn’t Carry Out the Threat- Could I Still Be Charged?
It also does not matter whether or not you actually executed the threat or intended to do so. Examples of criminal threats that could lead to charges in California include:

• Telling someone that you’re going to set fire to their home.
• Threatening to shoot another person while you are holding a gun or another weapon.
• Some of the most common defenses that can be used in a criminal threats case include;
• That the threat was not specific.
• That the recipient of the threat wasn’t actually in fear.
• The recipient’s fear was momentary.
• The recipient of the threat could not reasonably have feared for their safety.

This is a wobbler crime, meaning that it can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony. Up to one year in county jail might apply if you are charged and convicted of the misdemeanor. Up to four years in California state prison could apply if you are convicted of a felony charge. Talk to an experienced Riverside criminal defense attorney immediately if you’ve already been accused so that you can create a roadmap of your next steps in defense.