South Jersey Terroristic Threats Lawyer
Leading Criminal Defense Lawyer Represents Clients Accused of Terroristic Threats in Camden County, Burlington County and Throughout New Jersey
Most people fail to realize that you can be convicted for committing a crime that you only threaten. Prosecution for terroristic threats in South Jersey is actually on the rise—and you don’t actually have to cause anyone physical harm to be convicted of this serious third-degree felony offense. Conviction for a third-degree crime in New Jersey carries with it the potential for serving between three and five years in prison.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our seasoned criminal defense team is headed by a former Burlington County prosecutor who knows that it takes to make terroristic threats charges stick. We use our insight into the prosecution’s thinking to poke holes in their case—and make sure you have the best possible defense.
New Jersey terroristic threats charges may be brought when:
- The defendant threatens to kill someone else and reasonably makes them fear for their lives,
- The defendant threatens violence in order to terrorize someone else,
- The defendant threatens violence to cause a public building or space to be evacuated or cause another serious public inconvenience.
If convicted for making terroristic threats, serious financial penalties will be imposed in addition to prison time and a permanent criminal record. To learn more about our firm, contact our office to speak with our terroristic threats defense lawyers today.
Basics: The Crime of Terroristic Threats in Camden County, NJ
While terroristic threats charges in South Jersey can be tied to more large-scale events, such as a bomb threat that requires emptying a public space, the charges more commonly attach to much more commonplace situations. Conviction for making terroristic threats is possible if a person threatened violence against someone else with either:
- The intent to terrorize or cause terror, or
- Reckless disregard for whether the threats would reasonably cause the person to fear for their safety.
Third-degree terroristic threats charges also apply in situations where someone threatens to kill another person. In these situations, the defendant must have intended to put the victim in imminent fear of death, the victim must have actually feared for their life and that fear must have been reasonable under the circumstances.
You can be convicted on third-degree terroristic threats charges in a situation as simple as:
- You threatened to kill someone, and
- The person threatened reasonably feared that you would follow through on that threat immediately—rather than at some vague point in the future.
However, the threat of injury or damage must be “serious” for terroristic threats charges to stick. What constitutes a serious threat depends heavily upon the facts of the specific situation. Because of this, the skill and experience of your criminal defense lawyer is especially important if you are facing terroristic threats charges.
Terroristic threats charges can automatically be elevated to a second-degree criminal offense (with the potential for a five-to-ten year prison sentence and $250,000 fine). Second-degree terroristic threats charges will apply if you made the threat while a state of emergency (at the national, state or county level) was declared. It does not matter whether you knew that the state of emergency existed or whether your threat had anything to do with the state of emergency.
Respected Burlington County, NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers Advocate for Clients Charged with Terroristic Threats
Terroristic threats can be made verbally, in a text message or even an email. In many cases, terroristic threats are charged in situations involving domestic violence or even a simple bar fight—and, as such, often accompany additional criminal charges. At Gelman Law, LLC, our skilled criminal defense lawyers will build a strong defense against all of the charges against you.
We understand the unique evidentiary issues that often arise in terroristic threats cases. Our lawyers may build a strategic defense by questioning any of the following:
- Whether you actually made the threat in question if the threat was verbal,
- Whether eyewitnesses who testified to your threatening behavior were somehow biased or misunderstood,
- Whether the person who was threatened was reasonable in believing you would harm them even if you did make the threatening statement,
- Whether you had the requisite intent to terrorize,
- Whether a person whose life was threatened had reasonable fear that the threat was imminent, rather than a reference to some vague future time.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Our Trusted Terroristic Threats Defense Lawyers in South Jersey Today
Terroristic threats charges often carry penalties that are much more severe than you may realize—you could face years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if convicted. Your future reputation is also on the line because potential employers and landlords may not understand what is necessary to convict for terroristic threats (and may only focus on the word “terrorism”).
At Gelman Law, LLC, our skilled criminal defense team and former Burlington County prosecutor are here to provide the serious defense you need. Please call our office or contact us online today so that we can begin fighting the charges against you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Terroristic Threats Charges in Burlington County, NJ
Terroristic threats charges are often based on statements made in the heat of the moment, such as in a dispute with a romantic partner (or your ex). If the person who was threatened qualifies as a victim under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, they may qualify for a restraining order against you. Restraining orders can impact your freedom of movement, ability to interact with your children and more. Importantly, remember that you do not actually have to commit an act of violence—the threat alone is sufficient.
Yes. Terroristic threats cases turn on whether the threat in question was serious. For example, if you threatened to burn someone’s house down and, under the circumstances, it was reasonable to believe that you would follow through, the prosecution could convict.
Yes. In some cases, especially if it was your first offense, pre-trial intervention may be available. As long as the terroristic threats charges are at the third-degree level, you may be eligible. Pre-trial intervention requires you to complete certain requirements—such as community service, counseling and a probationary period—in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution. Our lawyers can help explore whether you are a candidate to apply for pre-trial intervention.