When most people think of the phrase terroristic threats, they tend to remember horrific real-life examples of terrorism. As it turns out, terroristic threats are criminalized under both state law in Texas as well as federal law.
The problem with many terroristic threats cases is that the alleged offender’s words or actions are often taken wildly out of context. When a person is nonetheless charged with any kind of terroristic threats crime, they are going to need a very good explanation in court to avoid some possibly serious penalties.
Denton Terroristic Threats Lawyer
Were you or your loved one arrested for making alleged terroristic threats in the Denton area? Do not attempt to explain yourself to authorities.
State Terroristic Threats Penalties in Texas
Texas Penal Code § 22.07 establishes it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail when an alleged offender threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies. It is also a Class B misdemeanor to threaten to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, but such an offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail when the offense is committed against a member of the person’s family or household or otherwise constitutes family violence, or is committed against a public servant.
Terroristic threats is also a Class A misdemeanor when an alleged offender threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place. A terroristic threat is a third-degree felony when an alleged offender threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to do any of the following:
- Cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
- Place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
- Influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
Federal Terroristic Threats Penalties in Denton
The federal law against terroristic threats is found in 18 U.S. Code § 2332b. A person can face federal charges for threatening, attempting, or conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim, commit an assault resulting in serious bodily injury, or assault with a dangerous weapon any person within the United States, or create a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to any other person by destroying or damaging any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States or by attempting or conspiring to destroy or damage any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States.
Threatening to commit such an offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. When an alleged offender attempts or conspires to commit an enumerated offense, the conviction is punishable by any term of years up to the maximum punishment that would have applied had the offense been completed.
Terroristic Threats Defenses in Denton
Your First Amendment rights could prove to be an important defense against many terroristic threats charges. When you were not seriously encouraging violence and made comments in jest, you should not be facing criminal charges.
Some cases could also involve alleged offenders being misidentified. When criminal charges are based on what a witness heard, it may be possible that they did not hear the alleged offender correctly. Some prosecutors may simply lack the evidence needed to prove these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.
Denton Terroristic Threats Resources
Felony Charges Dropped in “Facebook Threat” Case — Read an Austin Chronicle story about Justin Carter, the then 18-year-old who was playing the multiplayer online strategy video game League of Legends in 2013 when he got into a verbal exchange with another player who called him crazy, and Justin responded by typing: “I’m f- – – – – in the head alright, I think I’ma SHOOT UP A KINDERGARTEN […] AND WATCH THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT RAIN DOWN […] AND EAT THE BEATING HEART OF ONE OF THEM.” Carter typed “LOL” and “JK” afterwards, but a Canadian woman who saw the exchange took a screenshot and sent it to law enforcement officials in Texas who arrested Carter the following day on terroristic threat charges. In 2018, he accepted a plea deal dismissing the felony charges against him.
Patriot Act | United States Department of Justice — Short for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001,” the USA PATRIOT Act is a controversial Act of Congress. Visit this website to view the full text of the Act, review testimony, and learn what it does in regards to anti-terrorism efforts. Originally passed on October 26, 2001, the Patriot Act was reauthorized in 2005, amended and reauthorized in 2006, and had key provisions extended in 2011.
Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Denton Terroristic Threats Attorney
If you or your loved one has been arrested for alleged terroristic threats in Denton, you must not delay in seeking legal representation. You will want to be sure to contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Our firm will fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Our lawyers will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (940) 222-8004 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.