If you get into a fight with your neighbor and wave a knife at her each time you see her, or you send menacing emails to your ex’s new boyfriend threatening to shoot him, you may be charged with terroristic threats.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania takes terroristic threats very seriously. If you are charged, you risk being punished harshly with jail time and fines. You will need to retain an experienced defense attorney as soon as you can.
What You Need To Know About Terroristic Threats
Under Pennsylvania law, an individual commits the offense of terroristic threats if they communicate a threat:
- Of violence, with the intent to terrorize someone else.
- That causes a building, place of assembly like a church, or public transportation facility like an airport, to be evacuated.
- That otherwise causes serious public inconvenience or terror.
The threat can be made in person or by phone, or through an electronic channel such as email.
You can still be arrested if you don’t actually have the ability to cause the violence you threaten. It is the intent to terrorize, not the capability, that counts. So if you are incapacitated with a broken back and arms, but you phone a rival and threaten to club him senseless with a baseball bat, you can still be charged with terroristic threats.
Depending on the circumstances, if you are charged with terroristic threats you can be faced with a felony or misdemeanor. You may also have to pay restitution. For example, if your terroristic threat caused the evacuation of a movie theater, you may have to pay the police and fire department for providing emergency response services.
Additionally, if someone was harmed due to your terroristic threat they can sue you in civil court.
What Your Lawyer Can Do
Your attorney will carefully review every aspect of your case to determine if there is evidence for all you have been accused of.
- Your lawyer will make every effort to discredit any evidence not in your favor.
- Much of what your lawyer can do to help you will depend on the exact circumstances of your case.
Your lawyer will be looking at every avenue that can help you, so it’s important that you give them all of the information that can support your case.
How A Lawyer Will Help
When you are up against a terroristic threats charge, even before your first hearing you will be facing a determined prosecutor. You need an attorney who will stand by you every step of the way, work hard to discredit any evidence – and work with you to determine your best course of action.
Pennsylvania Terroristic Threats Law
Terroristic threats is described and defined under The Pennsylvania Criminal Code under Title 18, Chapter 27. Read the code here.
Questions? Contact us today.
Based on the evidence, Fienman Defense will try to show that the charges should be dismissed. If it’s in your best interest, we will work to negotiate a lesser sentence. Should the case go to trial, we will fight to present the strongest defense possible for your situation.