Were Your Behaviors Seen as a Criminal Threat? Contact a Criminal Attorney

Jul 12, 2017

If you make a threat against someone, you may be charged with a crime. (See Penal Code section 422). 

Being found guilty of criminal threat in Californiacould result in either a misdemeanor or felony conviction, with possibly months or years spent in prison.

What can be considered a criminal threat?

To begin with, you would have to make a threat to kill or physically hurt someone. Furthermore, they would have to experience fear for their own safety (or their loved ones' safety) as a result.

The threat would also need to be specific and communicated in certain ways - uttered verbally, written down, or transmitted through an electronic device (e.g. phone, computer).

What defense can you use against the charge?

There are a number of ways to question and defend yourself against a charge of criminal threat:

  • It's possible that, given the context, it would not have been reasonable for the victim to experience sustained fear or even take the threat seriously.
  • The threat in question may have been too vague.
  • The threat wasn't communicated in a way explicitly covered by the law. A recent case that made it to the California Supreme Court involved a threatening gesture; ultimately, the court decided that California Penal Code 422 PC (which spells out the nature of criminal threats) didn't apply to the gesture.
  • It's also possible for people to face false accusations.

If you've been charged with criminal threat, please contact us. We will carefully review your case in all of its details to determine if the charge is warranted and if there are any weaknesses in the evidence against you. Given the possible repercussions of conviction, it's important to mount a strong legal defense against the charge and ensure fair treatment from the courts.

Category: Criminal Defense

Michael Mitchell


Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.