People learning about a terroristic threat charge may be confused at first. After all, the charge makes it sound like the accused person was a terrorist, but the charge is a little broader than that. A terroristic threat is a charge used by the police to arrest someone they believe made threats and intended to cause a disturbance or cause harm. This way, law officers have the option of intervening before physical harm has been done.
However, it is important to note that the threat has to have been made with intent to cause harm. That limitation on the law helps protect the first amendment right to free speech.
After you or your loved one have been charged with making a terroristic threat, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Our criminal defense team at Leeds Law Firm can help if you have been charged with making a terroristic threat in Houston.What Are Terroristic Threats In Texas?
There is a wide range of actions that can be classified as making a terroristic threat in Texas. The core of the charge is about individuals doing or saying something with the intent to make others feel like they are in imminent threat of bodily harm.
Making threats intended to change a person or person’s behavior, like preventing them from entering a public space or going into a specific building, may also fall under making a terroristic threat.
Actions taken to change the behavior of public or government officials may also be considered terroristic threats.
Lastly, actions taken to prevent or alter the normal function of public services and utilities may also be considered a terroristic threat. This also includes making a threat in order to get a specific reaction from law enforcement, first responders, or other government agencies.Penalties For Making Terroristic Threats
In Texas, there are a wide range of penalties for making terroristic threats depending on the nature of the threat and the severity of it.
The mildest charge of a terroristic threat is a class B misdemeanor. Class B misdemeanors carry a maximum penalty of up to 180 days in jail and or a fine of up to $2,000.
The highest charge for making a terroristic threat, under normal circumstances, is a 3rd-degree felony. In Texas, a 3rd-degree felony is a fine of up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 10 years.The Difference Between Terroristic Threats And Simple Assault
If you are familiar with Texas law, you may have already noticed that terroristic threat charges are very similar to simple assault charges. You can be charged with simple assault for making threats that cause the person receiving the threat to have a reasonable fear of bodily harm.
The main difference is intent. Terroristic threat requires that the person making the threat intends to cause fear or a change in behavior, regardless of whether they actually intend to carry out what they threaten.
Terroristic threats may also be charged even if the person, people, or institution threatened do not feel fear.Contact Us
If you or a loved one are charged with making a terroristic threat, it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer to help with representation as soon as possible.
If you need help defending against a terroristic threat charge in Houston, Texas, our criminal defense attorneys at Leeds Law Firm can help.