Uttering threats is a vague and broad section that can be construed to mean anything. The most common charges that are found in many cases are charges of Uttering Death and Uttering Bodily Harm. A person can be charged of uttering threats if he knowingly utters, conveys or causes any person to receive a threat. The threat must be serious, and there does not have to be a motive for the threat. Nor does it require the accused to have the means of carrying out the threat.
This may be a threat to cause physical harm, or even a death threat, or to damage, burn or destroy personal or real property. It can even include the injury or death of an animal that is the property of the victim.
The Crown Attorney needs to make sure that the threat was knowingly uttered and that the accused intended to create reasonable fear in the victim. The accused does not have to utter threats verbally in order to be charged. Uttering threats through the use of mobile phones or even social networking sites can also be considered, especially since these forms of media are becoming more and more popular nowadays.
A charge of uttering threats can be laid out with assault charges as well, like domestic assault and even criminal harassment. Even conditional threats are considered criminal offenses. A conditional threat is like threatening to do something if the other person does not follow you or your orders.
If you are faced with a charge of uttering threats, don’t limit your options. You can still utilize different valid defenses, according to your particular case and your circumstances. Most of these defenses focus on the identity of the person who allegedly made the threat, how serious the threat was, as well as the context of the threat.
Don’t give up and automatically enter a guilty plea to a charge of uttering threats. The consequences may be very serious not only to yourself, but also to your family and your work. The criminal justice system does not take lightly to those who are processed under it. The penalty, if proceeding by indictment, could be imprisonment of up to five years. If the threat is only to a person’s personal, real or animal property, then the penalty of a guilty person of an indictable offense is imprisonment for up to two years, or is guilty of an offense punishable on summary conviction. That is why it is important to get an expert criminal lawyer to counsel you when faced with a charge of uttering threats.
When consulting with a criminal lawyer, it is important to be prepared to answer a number of questions, such as the circumstances of the charges, any conditional threats, the strength of the case and what the Crown will need to prove guilt, any statements that you may have released, any possible defenses for uttering threats, and also if you are a Canadian citizen.