Formerly referred to as terroristic threats, the crime of criminal threats may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony offense. A criminal threat occurs when an individual threatens to kill or injure another person and that person has a reasonably sustained fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family. A defendant may potentially be convicted of making criminal threats even if he or she did not intend to carry out the threat, provided that the alleged victim had a reasonable basis to fear for his or her safety.
Contact a Los Angeles Criminal Threats Defense Lawyer Today!
If you have been arrested for making a criminal threat, it is critical that you protect your rights by retaining an experienced criminal defense attorney. For a vigorous defense, contact the Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman in Los Angeles. We have defended hundreds of clients throughout California against criminal charges and have the ability to provide the strong defense you require; call 213-514-8324 or contact us by e-mail.
Criminal Threat Charges in Los Angeles
California prosecutors have considerable discretion to charge criminal threats offenses as a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor criminal threat, harassment or stalking offense, you could face up to one year in county jail. If you are convicted of a felony criminal threats offense, you could face up to four years in state prison. You could face significantly greater penalties if you used a firearm or other dangerous weapon while making criminal threats.
Criminal Threats and the 3 Strikes Law
Criminal threat is a strike offense, which means that you could face significantly enhanced penalties if you are convicted of a future felony. Even a nonviolent felony could result in twice the prison sentence if you have a prior strike offense. A third strike could result in a prison sentence of 25 years to life.
Defense Against Criminal Threat Charges in Los Angeles
There are many ways that our skilled Los Angeles defense attorneys can raise a strong defense on your behalf. First, we will examine the facts of the case to determine if the prosecution has enough evidence to obtain a conviction. In particular, we will look at any evidence of the alleged communication. Does the prosecution have copies of an email or voicemail? If the state has nothing more than a he-said-she said case, the prosecution will have a tougher time proving its case.
Even if the prosecution has evidence of the alleged communication, we will examine the nature of the communication. Was the threat a serious one? In other words, did the alleged victim actually fear for his or her safety and was he or she reasonable to have such fear? The prosecution does not have to prove that you intended to carry out the threat, or even that you had the current ability to carry out the threat. However, the prosecution must establish that the threat you made is the type that would have caused the defendant to have a reasonable fear.
If you choose to take your case to trial, we offer skilled Los Angeles trial lawyers who will aggressively defend your rights in the courtroom. If you do not want to fight your charges at trial, we can negotiate with the prosecution to seek a favorable plea agreement. Depending on the facts of your case, we may be able to help you keep this off of your record. If that is not possible, we can seek a plea to a lesser offense, including a non-strike offense, or we can seek an agreement on sentencing that will limit the penalties you face. As a former prosecutor, Daniel Perlman is highly adept at finding creative solutions for his clients.
To schedule a free consultation with one of our Los Angeles criminal threats defense lawyers, call 213-514-8324 or contact us by e-mail.