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Criminal or Terrorist Threats

California Penal Code Section 422 provides as follows:

"Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

In order to be convicted of charge of criminal threats, the District Attorney must provide each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. A person willfully threatened to commit a crime which if committed would result in death or great bodily injury to another person;
 
2. The person who made the threat did so with the specific intent that the statement be taken as a threat;
 
3. The threat was contained in a statement that was made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device;
 
4. The threatening statement on its face, and under the circumstances in which it was made, was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat; and
 
5. The threatening statement caused the person threatened reasonably to be in sustained fear [for [his] [or] [her] own safety] [or] [for [his] [or] [her] immediate family's safety].
 
It is immaterial whether the person who made the threat actually intended to carry it out.
 
Criminal or terrorist threats is also known as a wobbler, and can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony.  Accordingly, it is critical to contact an attorney immediately.  If you have been arrested and/or charged with Criminal or Terrorist Threats in Marin County, or in the Bay Area, Please contact Brownstein Law Group immediately.  

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