A charge of terroristic threatening can be very serious and can lead to detrimental publicity to the defendant. An expert terroristic threats criminal defense lawyer in the Houston area can help protect the defendant’s legal rights if he has been charged with this offense or may be questioned in regards to this type of action.
The Different Types of Terroristic Threats
An individual may be charged with making terroristic threats if he declares his intentions to cause harm to a person or property in order to:
- Cause an emergency response reaction by an official or a volunteer agency that handles emergency responses
- Make a person afraid of imminent serious bodily injury
- Prevent the occupation or use of a property or place of assembly
- Interrupt the occupation of a property or place of assembly
- Cause an impairment or an interruption of public communications transportation utilities or public services
- Make the general public afraid of serious bodily injury
- Influence a branch of the federal government or the state
In order for the prosecution to be successful, it must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the threat meets the criteria of one of the above-described matters.
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Potential Penalties for a Terroristic Threat Conviction
A conviction for terroristic threatening can lead to very serious consequences. The consequences can affect the personal life of the defendant, as well as the liberty of the convicted. A convicted individual may be sentenced to significant prison time, may be faced with probation and may be required to pay large fines. He may also be unable to obtain student loans, obtain small business administration loans, join the armed forces or join a government service. He can also have his personal protection license revoked.
Potential Defenses for a Terroristic Threat Charge
A conviction of a terroristic threat requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant had the actual intent to make a threat that elicited a specific response. Simply because a person or entity responds in a certain manner does not mean that the defendant intended for this person or entity to respond in that way.
If the defendant made a threat but did not have the actual intent specified in the Texas Penal Code, he may have a viable defense according to the law. Another defense that may be available if the defendant only makes a conditional threat of some type of future violence, this type of threat does not fulfill the elements of the crime.
Call a Terroristic Threats Defense Attorney
Mario Madrid has successfully represented a number of defendants in criminal cases. He is a board certified criminal attorney with extensive education and experience in criminal law.