Uttering threats is a vague and broad section of the law that can be construed to mean almost anything. The most common charges we see involve uttering threats of death and bodily harm.
When Could I Be Charged for Uttering Threats?
A person can be charged with uttering threats if he knowingly utters, conveys, or causes any person to receive a threat. The threat must be serious, but there does not have to be a motive for the threat, nor is there a requirement that the accused has the means of carrying out the threat. This may be a threat to cause physical harm or even death 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 also be laid out with assault charges such as domestic assault and even criminal harassment. Even conditional threats are considered criminal offences. A conditional threat is threatening to do something if the other person does not follow your orders.
What Are the Penalties for Uttering Threats?
The consequences of a conviction may be very serious not only to yourself but also to your family and your ability to earn a living. The penalty, if proceeding by indictment, could be imprisonment of up to five years.
If the threat is to someone’s personal, real, or animal property, then the penalty for a person guilty of an indictable offence is imprisonment for up to two years. 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 about the circumstances of the charges, any conditional threats, any statements you may have released, and whether you are a Canadian citizen. Your lawyer will explain the strength of the case, what evidence the Crown will need to prove your guilt, and the possible defences available to you.
How Can I Defend Myself Against These Charges?
If you are faced with a charge of uttering threats, don’t give up and automatically enter a guilty plea! You can still utilize different valid defences according to your particular case and your circumstances. Most of these defences focus on the identity of the person who allegedly made the threat, how serious the threat was, and the context of the threat.
After these kinds of accusations, your first phone call should be 1-800-699-0806. Contact Kruse Law Firm today to obtain expert counsel and to learn about the defences that might be available in your particular case.