Threats can be criminal even with no follow through

In the moment, tempers can flare. It happens to the best of people.

If you threaten someone, whether you intended to follow through or not, you can be arrested under Penal Code 422. California takes a tough stance on criminal threats by making it illegal to threaten death or severe bodily harm against another.

Don’t play around with your freedom.

Putting off hiring a lawyer jeopardizes your future.  The prosecution is busy building its case right now and so should you.

We handle the details. We make your case.

Since it is a crime to threaten another person with death or bodily injury, prosecutors must prove specific elements to convict you. Remember, the burden of proof is their responsibility. Working with a criminal threats lawyer will help you cast doubt on the government’s case.

It is crucial to understand that even if you did not intend to carry through with your threats, you can still be charged, prosecuted, and convicted of a criminal threat.

Elements of the Charge

Remember, the prosecutor must prove all of the following. elements. Failure on their part to meet this requirement should result in a dismissal of your case or acquittal at trial.

  • You threatened someone else with bodily harm or death

  • You made the threat verbally or in writing

  • You intended that the target took the threat seriously

  • You made the threat to instill fear

  • The alleged target was fearful after you made the threat


Fight for your freedom

Even for a misdemeanor threat conviction, you can face up to one year in county jail. You can also receive other penalties that include steep fines and a criminal conviction that follows you around for the duration of your life. All because of a momentary lapse in judgment. You do not have to lay down. Fight for your freedom.

Fight for your freedom

Even for a misdemeanor threat conviction, you can face up to one year in county jail. You can also receive other penalties that include steep fines and a criminal conviction that follows you around for the duration of your life. All because of a momentary lapse in judgment. You do not have to lay down. Fight for your freedom.

Consequences of a Conviction

Here is what is at stake, in terms of jail time, if law enforcement charges you with:

Misdemeanor & Felony Threats

  • Misdemeanor criminal threat: Up to one year in county jail
  • Felony criminal threat: Up to three years in prison.
  • Multiple counts: Threats made on more than one occasion or against more than one person, may be charged as numerous counts of the same crime. Each count could be separately sentenced.
  • Deadly or dangerous weapon: Wielding a deadly or dangerous weapon is a felony and can increase your sentence by up to five years.

California's Three Strikes Law

If you get convicted of the charge as a felony, the conviction will be a ‘strike’ for California’s Three Strikes Law. This will double the base punishment for any future felony charges, reduce “good time” custody credits and, if you suffer 2 more strike convictions later on, you will “strike-out,” and be subject to being sentenced to 25 to life in state prison.

Additional Consequences to Consider

Criminal threats are classified as a crime of moral turpitude (CMT). Simply put, the state considers these crimes more offensive than others. As such, CMT crimes can result in deportation, revocation of professional licenses, and have other implications.

People charged with a crime often struggle with whether to hire a private attorney or use a public defender. While a court appointed lawyer will be cheaper, that choice may prove costly if you end up pleading guilty in court.  With heavy caseloads, public defenders can be overworked and might not have the time to carefully review all the evidence in your case.

Working with a defense attorney

Some of the benefits of working with a private lawyer can include:

White-Collar Crime Defense Lawyer Los Angeles, CA
  • Keeping your record clean

    Don’t let a guilty plea show up in court records where employers and others can see it. In many cases we can get the charges reduced or expunged from your record.

  • Staying out of court

    In many cases, we can appear for you in court for a majority of the court hearings. Miss less time at work and leave the court appearances to us.

  • Avoid jail time

    We’ve kept many of our clients out of jail. Even in the most difficult cases, we can negotiate work release or home detention so you can get on with life without having to miss work or family obligations.

  • Get charges reduced or dismissed

    We research and investigate each case in order to get your charges dismissed or the best deal possible.

Call for a free consultation today.

You do not have to let an off-the-cuff remark that you made in the heat of the moment change your life forever. If you are facing charges or are under investigation, a conviction can have short and long-term consequences, including fines, jail, civil suits, victim restitution, and a criminal record.

We fight for clients every day and are committed to their success since their lives depend on it. Call (888) 588-1777 for a FREE CASE REVIEW because when the gavel comes down it will be too late to reconsider your choice of lawyer.

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David Booth

Attorney John Paul-Serrao helped us to win our case against the insurance company after we were involved in a traffic accident where our car was rear ended, we tried to handle it ourselves with the insurance company and they did not want to cooperate with us, so we hired Mr. Serrao and he was able to get us a settlement above with the insurance company was willing to pay. I would highly recommend him.

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John-Paul is well known in our community as a smart and effective criminal defense lawyer who is sensitive to his clients’ situations and responsive to their needs. I refer my clients to him with confidence when they need help with the criminal justice system.

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