When you hear the phrase “terroristic threat” your mind probably heads right to a scene in which someone is threatening the liberty of the country. However, you may not realize that a terroristic threat charge can be levied against you for things like threatening someone over the internet or waving a weapon at someone from across the street.
At Stewart, Murray and Associates Law Group, we understand that terroristic threats need to be taken seriously, but the charges should not be used for crimes that do not rise to the level of terrorism. If you need a Washington County terroristic threat charges attorney, call us today so we can get to work on your defense.
What Does This mean?
Terroristic threat charges are in place in Pennsylvania to ensure the state has the means to charge and punish a person who has the intent to carry out a major crime or threatens to do so. In this state, a person can face a terroristic threat charge if they make a threat to:
- Commit a violent act with the intent to terrorize another person.
- Cause the evacuation of a public transportation facility, place of assembly, or a building.
- Cause serious public inconvenience or terror.
If you look at those three points, you can see how the law can be applied liberally in many different situations, many of which may not truly be terroristic threats. These charges would be rightfully applied if a person screams “Bomb!” in a crowded place. Whether they have a bomb or not, the intent is to cause mass hysteria and will likely get someone hurt or killed.
However, does threatening a neighbor with a weapon during an argument rise to the level of terroristic threat?
These charges are prosecuted and defended on the intent of the person charged with the crime.
- Did the person making the threat intend to cause mass harm with their alleged threat?
These charges can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether or not someone was injured as a result of the alleged crime. Being found guilty could mean that you are faced with prison time as well as fees, including restitution for the expenses paid to police, fire, and EMS due to the threat.
- You can be certain that an eager prosecutor will vigorously pursue these charges against you.
Moving Forward From Here
If you or a loved one have been charged with making a terroristic threat, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. These are serious charges and you need to have a qualified and experienced defense team at your back.