TERRORISTIC THREAT CHARGES IN PENNSYLVANIA

What Happens if You Are Charged With Making Terroristic Threats in PA?

Many times people say things quickly and think nothing of it or feel it was a joke, or may even regret saying it immediately; but others may take those same words as a serious threat which causes them fear.

Oftentimes, a miscommunication or something someone says, but doesn’t mean, comes out of their mouth or even through a text or email. Or, something we think will be funny ends up causing a lot of problems. Sometimes a person’s mental state can cause them to say things that they wouldn’t have said normally. This can lead to big trouble if another person feels threatened and gets the police involved.

Terroristic threats can also be indirect, such as pointing a gun at someone’s head. If you point a gun at someone but don’t verbally make a threat, this is still putting terror or fear in someone and is considered a terroristic threat.

If you were charged with making terroristic threats, please do not take the charges lightly. Although it is a fairly common charge in Pennsylvania, it is also one that comes with very serious consequences. A conviction on a terroristic threat charge could mean up to five years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Terroristic threats can include bomb threats and death threats, or even threatening to damage someone’s property. But also any violent crime with the intention of terrorizing someone is considered a terroristic threat.

If you have been charged with making terroristic threats, get a free legal case evaluation from an experienced attorney. A conviction will affect your ability to find a job, your reputation and your future.

However, it is important to not feel hopeless or powerless.

This is Your Life. You Have Rights.

Until you have been convicted of terroristic threat charges, you have many options in defending your innocence, your rights and your liberties.

The Pittsburgh Terroristic Threats Attorneys at SMA Law Group understand the implications that these charges can have on your life. Our lawyers are compassionate to your situation and want to help you.

It is important to speak with a criminal lawyer immediately after being charged in order to have the best chance of building a strong legal defense. Call us today for a free legal consultation.


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WHAT IS A TERRORISTIC THREAT?

Chances are, at some point in your life, you have used words as a threat in some form. But to be charged with terroristic threats, your words have to be something more than just those spouted off in anger. In order to be classified as a terroristic threat, the words have to be said to create and maintain fear in the victim.

Terroristic threats is defined specifically in the Pennsylvania Code Title 18 § 2706 as:

(a)  A person commits the crime of terroristic threats if the person communicates, either directly or indirectly, a threat to:

(1)  commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another;

(2)  cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation; or

(3)  otherwise cause serious public inconvenience, or cause terror or serious public inconvenience with reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.

Threats can include any number of fear inducing words. You could threaten to kill someone, seriously injure someone, or call in a bomb threat in a public place. In all of the scenarios, the intent is to instill fear in the recipient(s) of the threats.

Direct threats can be made in the form of an email, a voicemail, text messages or any other form of communication. Also important to note, the threats do not have to be made with words – indirect threats, such as gestures with a weapon, also qualify as terroristic threats.

As with most criminal charges, it is the accused’s intent that matters. Even if it is found that the defendant was completely incapable of ever carrying out the threat, he or she can still be charged with terroristic threats if the victim was in fear.


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PENALTIES FOR TERRORISTIC THREATS IN PENNSYLVANIA

Most of the time, a terroristic threats charge constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. Both have harsh penalties that include jail time, fines and restitution.

If you are found guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, the punishment includes:

  • Up to five (5) years in jail
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • Restitution and other fees, if it applies

There is a scenario, however, where the charge will constitute a felony of the third degree. If the threat causes the occupants of the building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation to be diverted from their normal or customary operations, it constitutes a felony of the third degree.

If you are found guilty of a felony of the third degree, the punishment includes:

  • Up to seven (7) years in jail
  • Up to $15,000 in fines
  • Restitution and other fees, if it applies

Restitution can be extremely costly and involves repayment equal to the cost of the evacuation, including, but not limited to, fire and police response; emergency medical service or emergency preparedness response; and transportation of an individual from the building, place of assembly or facility.

You may also be subject to civil liabilities for the crime as well, thus further complicating an already difficult situation.

With severe monetary consequences as well as your freedom and reputation on the line, you cannot leave your situation to chance. The Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyers at SMA Law Group can help.


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FIGHT FOR YOUR FREEDOM

HOW SMA LAW GROUP CAN HELP

When your entire future is on the line, you need an excellent attorney who is going to work aggressively to defend your rights, who is compassionate and cares about their client, who is knowledgeable about the Pennsylvania legal system and who is resourceful in gathering and examining the evidence to build a strong legal defense.

Pittsburgh Attorney Christopher Thomas is skilled and experienced at winning terroristic threat cases and fighting for charges to be reduced or dropped altogether.

At SMA Law Group, we will first try to determine if you were charged lawfully. We will work with you and listen to you in gathering all evidence and witnesses to prove your innocence or that your actions were not intentional.

We will thoroughly investigate all police reports and evidence to determine a strong defense strategy.

Whatever your unique situation, we will take a comprehensive approach to protect your freedom and your reputation. We will work to ensure that your case has the best outcome possible.

Our aggressive and compassionate attorneys are here to guide you through a difficult time.

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Attorney Christopher Thomas has years of experience in defending the rights of people in Western Pennsylvania. Contact him today.


GET A FREE LEGAL CASE EVALUATION

Call 412-765-3345 for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available by phone, email or in-person.

SMA Law Group attorneys believe in aggressively representing our clients while maintaining the personal compassion needed when counseling clients through difficult situations and navigating a complex legal system. Contact us today.