Your San Diego Criminal Threats Crime Defense Lawyers
With the enormous growth text messaging and internet messenger services, charges of Criminal Threats (formerly known as Terrorist Threats) are becoming more and more common. Prosecutors see these cases as slam dunks because they frequently have written documentation of the threats. With this new confidence, prosecutors are seeking felony convictions for what frequently amounts to just momentary outburst of frustration or anger. The best defense attorneys know that these cases are far from open and shut. They use experienced investigators to disprove the elements of the crime. At MyCriminalDefense, we know how to pick apart these cases and create reasonable doubt in the eyes of the jury, the court, and the prosecutors.
What are Criminal Threats?
California Penal Code §422 defines criminal threats as threats to kill or cause great bodily injury.
What must the prosecution prove to convict someone of Criminal Threats?
1. The defendant willfully threatened to unlawfully kill or cause great bodily injury.
2. The defendant intended that his statement be understood as a threat.
3. The threat was so clear, immediate, unconditional and specific that it communicated to the person threatened a serious intention and the immediate prospect that it be carried out.
4. The threat actually caused the person threatened to be in sustained fear for his or her safety or for the safety of his or her immediate family.
Example of a Criminal Threat
A man cuts off another man on the highway. They yell at each other. One man tells the other he is going to kill him. The man making the threat then tailgates the man threatened for two miles and follows him exiting the highway. In this example, the defendant threatened to kill another person. He intended his threat be taken seriously. The threat was immediate, unconditional and specific in that the person making the threat tailgated the other person for two miles and follows him as he exits the highway. The person threatened complained of being in fear for his safety.
Criminal Threat Defenses
False accusations are common in criminal threat cases. Someone may file a false police report or falsify a written message, claiming that you made a threat. In these cases, we use investigators to uncover the motives of the person who filed the false report. We also use technical experts to prove that the messages did not originate from you.
Unreasonableness / Victim Not Actually Afraid
If the threat is impossible or not reasonable, you cannot be convicted of Criminal Threats. Similarly, if the victims were not actually in immediate and sustained fear for their safety, then you cannot be convicted of Criminal Threats. At MyCriminalDefense, we use experts to dig up the truth. Just saying, “I’m going to kill you,” is not a crime, if the person on the receiving end does not or should not believe you, or if the threat is conditional.
Example of a Threat That is Not a Crime
A man is angry at another man for cheating him out of money. He lives in New York and the man he threatens lives in Hawaii. He tells the man that if he ever visits Hawaii, he is going to stab him in the heart. In this example, the threat would not qualify as a criminal threat under Penal Code § 422 because the person’s threat was conditioned on his going to Hawaii and the other person could not reasonably believe that the threatened harm would be carried out immediately.
At My Criminal Defense, our criminal defense team consists of experienced criminal defense attorneys, professional investigators and experts. If you have been falsely accused of making a criminal threat, our professional investigators will interview important witnesses and obtain sworn statements that will support your defense that no criminal threats were made. All it takes is a reasonable doubt for a prosecutor to reject a charge of criminal threats. An aggressive pre-arraignment investigation can often produce important evidence of reasonable doubt and actual innocence.
The My Criminal Defense team is prepared to go forward and defend you even if the prosecutor decides to file charges against you. By laying a strong defense foundation at the pre-arraignment stage, our attorneys are ahead of the prosecution. We will continue to have our investigators and experts pursue evidence that will prepare your defense for trial if necessary. The advantage of building an early defense gives us a strong advantage over the prosecution which is overworked and not able to keep up with our defense team.
Our criminal defense attorneys have tried over 400 cases to a jury verdict. Our record of successful defense verdicts is extremely high and one of the reasons MyCriminalDefense is feared by prosecutors. Our trial defense attorneys boast an outstanding record of success at trial. That is the reason why prosecutors respect the prowess and skills of our veteran criminal defense attorneys.
My Criminal Defense has successfully defended many clients who have been falsely accused of making criminal threats by conducting a thorough investigation of the facts of each of our clients’ cases. Our criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience handling such cases and, with our defense team of investigators and experts, our legal team can help defend your legal rights and protect you against wrongful and unjust prosecution.
With more than 27 years of experience serving as a legal defense team in Southern California, we pride ourselves in our ability to create successful strategies that will protect your life and freedom. TAKE IMMEDIATE STEPS TODAY to protect your life and freedom. Call us to set up a FREE confidential consultation TODAY!