Criminal Threats Lawyer in Santa Clarita
In the state of California, criminal threats are a serious offense. So much so that the crime used to be referred to as “terrorist threats.” How we interact with each other and the things that we say when we are frustrated could carry grave legal consequences, so it is always important to be cautious when we interact with others.
In order to be considered a criminal threat, an interaction must meet several legal criteria. If you are being charged with making a criminal threat in Santa Clarita, trust Lias Law Firm to provide stalwart legal representation in your favor.
We are here to help. Give us a call at (661) 529-7011 to discuss your case with us today.
What Constitutes a Criminal Threat in California?
While many people have a straightforward idea of what constitutes a threat, there are specific legal criteria in California that must be met in order to charge a person with making a criminal threat.
CA PC 422 is the code which prohibits criminal threats, explains what constitutes a threat, and explains the potential consequences of a conviction. Essentially, a punishable criminal threat:
- Must be communicated verbally, electronically, or in writing;
- Must explicitly threaten death or great bodily harm;
- Must be intended as an immediate threat;
- Must be specific and unambiguous; and
- Must cause a person to develop a reasonable and sustained fear for their safety or for the safety of their immediate family.
Though a prosecutor must prove all these nuances, these crimes are still very serious legal matters which, if proven, can have a devastating impact on your quality of life. Contact our criminal threat defense attorney in Santa Clarita to learn how we can help you today.
Penalties for Making Criminal Threats in California
California Penal Code 422 is considered a “wobbler,” meaning that it can either be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the specifics of the case and the criminal history of the perpetrator.
First-time offenders are often charged with misdemeanors. If charged as a misdemeanor, making a criminal threat against another person is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Felony criminal threats are considerably more serious than misdemeanors. A conviction could land you in state prison for up to 3 years and a fine of up to $10,000.
Felony convictions also count as a “strike” in California’s three strikes law, meaning anyone charged with felony criminal threats must serve at least 85% of their sentence prior to being eligible for parole. Worse yet, if charged with a felony and you already have a “strike” on your record, you will need to serve twice as much time as you would otherwise have to. If the charge is a third strike, you will need to serve a minimum of 25 years in state prison with a maximum sentence of life.
Making multiple criminal threats could lead to being charged for each individual threat made. This is the same for misdemeanors and felonies. Further, if a deadly or dangerous weapon is used to communicate or emphasize the threat, an additional year in prison can be added to your sentence.
Contact Us Today for Reliable Legal Representation
Though the crime of criminal threats involves many nuances and potential penalties, there is much that our team can do for you. Our Santa Clarita criminal threat defense attorney is deeply familiar with the legal processes and will do everything she can to make sure you are fairly and favorably represented in court.
Call Lias Law Firm at (661) 529-7011 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.