Can I Be Arrested and Charged for Threatening Someone?

Can I Be Arrested and Charged for Threatening Someone?

Can I Be Arrested and Charged for Threatening Someone?

In Florida and throughout the United States, you do not have to actually cause physical or financial harm to someone else to be convicted of a criminal offense. In fact, you can face criminal charges—and serious consequences upon conviction—solely for threatening to harm another person. This might happen if the threat you allegedly made meets specific criteria in the views of the police officers charging you.

Here is a basic overview of the circumstances under which you can be arrested and charged for threatening someone. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can explain each aspect in more detail during a confidential consultation.

When Is Threatening Someone a Crime?

According to Florida Statutes § 836.10, it is against the law to deliberately send a written message to someone else through traditional mail, an online communication service, or any other means if that message includes a threat to physically harm or kill them, or to commit a mass shooting or other act of terrorism. This is considered a second-degree felony, which means even a first-time offender with no prior criminal record may face up to 15 years in state prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Additionally, someone who knowingly and willfully threatens a family member, police officer, or other state official or employee commits a first-degree misdemeanor under FL Stat. §836.12. They can have their charge upgraded to a third-degree felony upon a second or subsequent conviction. It is worth mentioning that someone who repeatedly makes threatening or harassing phone calls to another person may be prosecuted for a second-degree misdemeanor under FL Stat. § 365.16.

Contesting Criminal Charges for Threats

In order to convict someone of any criminal charge related to an alleged threat of serious or life-threatening violence, the prosecution must prove that three things are true. First, they must show that the defendant actually intended to make the threat and did so with malicious intent, rather than recklessly or carelessly making a statement which someone else interpreted as threatening.

Second, they must show that the defendant successfully communicated their threat to their intended target in some way, whether that was in writing, through electronic communication, or verbally in person or over the phone. Finally, they must prove the defendant intended for their threat to cause the person to suffer some kind of harm or reasonably fear for their own physical safety.

Call The Umansky Law Firm When You Are Arrested or Charged With Threatening Someone

Most successful defense strategies against arrests and criminal charges for threatening someone are built around fighting specific pieces of the prosecution’s case. This is to show that one or more of these elements cannot be established “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

A knowledgeable assault defense attorney can explain how to respond when you are arrested or charged for threatening someone. Ask The Umansky Law Firm team for further information.

Can I Be Arrested and Charged for Threatening Someone?