Are you facing criminal threats charges in Los Angeles?
Pursuant to California Penal Code Section 422 Criminal Threats, is a “wobbler”, meaning that the prosecutor has the discretion to charge it as a felony or as a misdemeanor. Even thought it may be charged as a misdemeanor, criminal threats is a very serious charge, and should be aggressively defended.
This statute states that:
“Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.”
If you are facing charges for criminal threats in Los Angeles, or the surrounding counties, contact experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth at 424 272 1134.
Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Miles Booth
How does the prosecution prove that I am guilty of Criminal Threats?
CALCRIM 1300 lays out the elements that the prosecutor must prove for you to be found guilty under Penal Code Section 422, criminal threats. To be convicted of criminal threats the prosecutor must prove that you;
- You willfully (in writing, orally, or via electronic communication) threatened to kill or cause great bodily injury to another person,
- You intended for your statement to be understood as a threat,
- The threat was so specific, immediate and clear that it communicated to the alleged victim that you seriously intended on carrying it out, and
- The threat actually caused the alleged victim to reasonably be in sustained fear for their safety, or the safety of their immediate family
Lets take a closer look at how the court defines these elements;
Willfully means that you did the act willingly or on purpose.
Great Bodily Injury is any injury that is significant or substantial. It is more than a minor or moderate injury.
* It is also important to note that the prosector does not need to show that you intended to, or even had an immediate ability to carry out the threat to be convicted. *
How can I defend myself against criminal threats charges?
Being charged with criminal threats can be overwhelming, however a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney can be your greatest asset in fighting these charges. Some of the most common legal defenses to a criminal threats charge are that;
- You were falsely accused
- The threat was conditional
- You only made a threatening gesture
- The threat was not specific but was ambiguous
- The alleged victim was not actually in fear
- The alleged victim could not have reasonably been in fear
- The alleged victim’s fear was fleeting, and not sustained
Just because you have been accused of, or charged with Criminal Threats does not mean that you will be convicted. Call Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Miles Booth, to discuss how to best defend your case.
What are the Penalties for a Criminal Threats conviction?
Penal Code Section 422 is a“wobbler” offense, which allows the prosecutor to exercise discretion and charge you with either a felony or a misdemeanor. This decision will be based on the specific circumstances of the offense, and your criminal history.
A Misdemeanor Criminal Threats Conviction may result in;
- One year in county jail,
- A $1,000 fine, and/or
- 3 years of misdemeanor probation
A Felony Criminal Threats Conviction may result in;
- 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years, or
- 5 years of formal probation, and/or
- A fine of up to $10,000
If felony or misdemeanor probation is granted a protective order will be issued for the duration of your probation, preventing you from contacting the alleged victim.
A conviction may have adverse immigration consequences and could result in the suspension of a professional license.
A felony criminal threats conviction is a strike offense under the California three strikes law. This means that if you are subsequently convicted of any other felony your sentence will be twice the term it would have been otherwise. You will also be required to serve at least 85% of your sentence on the criminal threats conviction.
Contact Los Angeles Criminal defense attorney miles booth
Facing Criminal Threats charges can be overwhelming and frightening. Charges alone can have far-reaching consequences. Your housing, future job prospects, and most importantly, immediate freedom are in jeopardy.It is foolish to fight these cases alone. It is important to have a skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorney by your side.
As a former prosecutor, Miles Booth understands the complexities of these cases and the blueprints for beating, or substantially mitigating the charges. He has handled thousands of cases throughout Los Angeles County and will aggressively defend you to get the best outcome possible.
To learn more about your options going forward, contact Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, Miles Booth, for a free consultation at 424 272 1134.
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Contact Miles Booth
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