If you or a loved one are charged with a making a terroristic threat, you cannot take the charge lightly. While this charge is commonly used by law enforcement, you can face serious consequences. At the SMA Law Group, our knowledgeable and experienced team is ready to get to work on your behalf today.
While the phrase “terroristic threat” seems ominous, the charges in Pennsylvania exist to law enforcement the authority to punish those who have the intention to carry out a major crime or threaten to do so. In PA, these charges can be applied if a person:
- Commits a violent act intended to terrorize another person.
- Causes serious public inconvenience or terror.
- Causes the evacuation of a public transportation facility, place of assembly, or a building.
This law can be considered a “speech-based” crime, making it subjective and difficult to determine if a crime has actually been committed. In many cases, simply telling a neighbor you intend to hit them can result in a terroristic threat charge.
How can you beat these charges?
The most important thing you can do if you are facing terroristic threat charges is to obtain a skilled terroristic threat attorney in Pittsburgh. Your attorney will understand that nature of this charge and get to work building your defense. But how? Everyone’s defense strategy will vary depending on the circumstances of the alleged crime. Your attorney will work to prove:
- You did not communicate a threat.
- There was no intention of harm.
- The statement was made in fun.
- The statement was made in frustration or in the heat of the moment.
Your attorney will investigate all aspects of your case, first by gathering and analyzing all evidence being used against you. Every effort will be made to discredit any evidence not in your favor. Realizing that these charges are subjective, your attorney will work to prove that the officer should not have charged you under the circumstances present at the time the alleged crime was committed.
What are the punishments for terroristic threat charges?
Usually, this is a first-degree misdemeanor that is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine ranging from $1,500 to $10,000. If the threat caused the occupants of a building, public transportation facility, or place of assembly to divert from their usual operations, this can become a third-degree felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine ranging from $2,500 to $15,000. With the felony charge, you could also be on the line for restitution equal to the cost of any evacuation (police, fire, and EMS response).
Let us help you get through this
Let the SMA Law Group get to work on your case immediately. Our qualified and experienced criminal attorney is ready to employ all strategies at our disposal to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. When you need a Pittsburgh terroristic threat attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 1-888-976-2529.