Terroristic Threat Laws and Penalties
While the United States is known for its freedom of speech laws, there are certain forms of speech that can be punishable by law. Speech that is considered to be a terroristic threat does not have the same protections as other forms of communication do. Terroristic threats are illegal in all 50 states. However, there might be some question as to what is considered a terroristic threat and what is not. Learn more below.
What is a Terroristic Threat?
Terroristic threats are threats to commit a crime that would lead to the injury or death of individuals. New Jersey goes even further to define a terroristic threat as an action that threatens to terrorize another individual or to encourage the evacuation of a building. In most cases, a terroristic threat must be:
- A threat: There must be a threat present, either verbally or written. While some states have rules that applied threats can also be considered terroristic, they tend to be much harder to prove.
- Specificity: Terroristic threats must be specific in nature. The threat must be specific as to who, or what, is at risk of the threat.
- Reasonability: The threat must also be realistic. The individual found guilty must be able to reasonably carry out the threat itself.
- Terror: The threat must incite terror. However, it is possible to receive a terroristic threat if the other actions are present.
It is important to note that not all threats against others are considered terroristic. There are also different levels of terroristic threats, which can affect the expected consequences.
Potential Consequences of Terroristic Threats in New Jersey
New Jersey categorizes terroristic threats as a third-degree crime. This means that individuals could face:
- Between 3-5 years of prison time
- Legal fines up to $15,000
Of course, there are other levels of terroristic threats. Individuals who make a federal terroristic threat could face even more severe legal charges, in the form of a second degree crime or even a felony. Some terroristic threats could face between 40-100 years of prison time, fines up to $250,000, high restitution fees, and required probation or parole.
There are certain circumstances that can make legal charges even worse, such as if the threat is made during a national, state, or county emergency. The fact of whether or not the individual knew that the area was under an emergency classification does not matter when determining their legal charges.
Because terroristic threats face severe consequences, it is important to consider working with a criminal defense lawyer if you’re facing charges. In order to receive a terroristic threat charge, the prosecution will need to identify evidence for each important element. A criminal defense lawyer will evaluate your case and determine whether or not the appropriate evidence is present.
Unfortunately, many reports of terroristic threats arise out of domestic dispute problems. It is often one person’s word against another’s. The suspected criminal made a threat out of anger and without the right representation, they could face jail time and expensive fines. Protect your future and work with a lawyer who is familiar with New Jersey’s terroristic threat laws.
Contact an Experienced Camden County Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Terroristic Threat Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with terroristic threats in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Gelman Law have successfully represented clients charged with terroristic threats in Camden County, Cherry Hill, Burlington County, Gloucester County, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 861-4236 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 1940 W Rte. 70, Suite 4, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.