Fairfield Threatening Lawyer
While saying things out of anger may seem minor, people who are not cautious with their words might face assault charges under the Connecticut Penal Code. Threatening to do harm to another is a crime that could be considered a felony in some circumstances. The consequences of a conviction could be severe, so it is critical to contact a lawyer who specializes in such threatening charges immediately if you are accused of this crime in Fairfield.
What Constitutes a Criminal Threat?
Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-62 defines Threatening in the Second Degree as a misdemeanor. It is a criminal act to threaten physical harm and to intend to place another person in fear of imminent injury.
Violating C.G.S. § 53a-61aa, Threatening in the First Degree, is a felony. It is sometimes called “making terroristic threats.” A person commits this crime by threatening to release a hazardous substance with the intent to create an evacuation or making a threat to cause significant public inconvenience. Calling in a bomb threat to a store, school, or hospital could merit these kinds of felony charges.
Criminal threats could be verbal or written, and can be communicated via text or through a social media post. Moreover, people involved in domestic violence incidents could face Threatening charges. Someone facing criminal Threatening charges, whether misdemeanor or felony, should contact a Fairfield attorney immediately. It is important to avoid speaking to the arresting officers or other officials until legal representation is present.
Consequences of Threat to Harm Charges
Threatening in the Second Degree is a Class A misdemeanor. A conviction could result in a one-year jail sentence, $2,000 in fines, and probation. Threatening in the First Degree is a Class D felony. The maximum penalty is a five-year prison sentence, $5,000 in fines, and probation.
People accused of making criminal threats face consequences even before they have an opportunity to defend themselves from the charges. A judge typically imposes a protective order on someone accused of making a threat to harm. This order bars its subject from contacting the alleged victims of the original threat. Sometimes the direction to avoid contact is not a separate order but incorporated into the defendant’s conditions of release.
Violating a protective order is itself a felony. Violating conditions of release could lead to increased bail and a separate misdemeanor charge. An experienced attorney in Fairfield can explain the conditions the judge imposed and the repercussions of violating them in a specific case.
Resolving Threatening Charges
Most Threatening charges do not result in the maximum allowable sentence. In many cases, the prosecutor might dismiss or reduce misdemeanor charges. Felony Threatening charges can also often be resolved without jail time.
A diligent attorney can review the evidence from the police to determine whether they had probable cause for the arrest and followed proper procedures. If not, a motion to dismiss the charges or suppress evidence could be appropriate. The legal professional can investigate the alleged victim to determine whether they had a motive to make a false or exaggerated report. If so, they can present that evidence to the prosecutor, who might decline to pursue a case with an unreliable complainant.
In some cases, pre-trial diversion or first-time offender programs might allow an accused to resolve the charges without putting a stain on their record. In other cases, an accused might close the matter by agreeing to participate in anger management, counseling, mental health treatment, or community service.
Contact a Fairfield Attorney if You Face Threat to Harm Charges
Being charged with making threats can cause considerable disruption to your life and have long-term consequences, even if you are not convicted. It makes sense to work with an experienced attorney to create the best defense in this situation.
Get in touch with a Fairfield Threatening lawyer as soon as you are arrested or charged. Our team at the Law Offices of Mark Sherman can help you resolve the charges in the most favorable way possible under the circumstances. Call today to schedule your confidential consultation, and click here to see what our past clients have said about working with us.