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    Westport Threatening Lawyer

    Security and terrorism are on the minds of many people these days, so it is perhaps not surprising that threatening words or actions are now taken quite seriously by Westport police and prosecutors.

    As the best harassment lawyers can confirm, there are two threatening crimes—threatening first and second-degree—in Connecticut that are punishable substantial jail time and large fines.That is why, if you have been charged with harassment, you should reach out to a Westport threatening lawyer that could build a solid defense for you.

    Threatening Arrests in Westport Domestic Violence Cases

    Criminal threatening arrests are commonly charged in domestic disputes. All domestic violence arrests are referred to Norwalk Superior Court on the very business day. Westport domestic violence threatening charges often result in an immediate protective/restraining order being issued by the Norwalk criminal court judge. Violation of a protective order or restraining order is a serious felony offense in addition to other underlying charges.

     Definition of Threatening in the Second-Degree in Connecticut

    Connecticut has two criminal threatening statutes on its books. Threatening in the second-degree is probably the most commonly charged offense in Westport, Connecticut under CGS 53a-62. Under this statute, there are three types of behavior that are considered second-degree threatening:

    • Making a physical threat with the intent to cause another to believe they are in danger of imminent severe physical harm
    • Threatening to commit a crime of violence in order to terrorize another person
    • Threatening to commit a crime of violence without giving proper regard to the likelihood of terrorizing another person

    What is First-Degree Threatening in Connecticut?

    Somewhat less common but more serious is the crime of first-degree threatening. As top Westport threatening lawyers understand, situations that will be considered threatening in the first-degree are set forth in CGS § 53a-61aa of the Connecticut penal code. One instance of this crime occurs when an individual uses or threatens the use of a firearm while committing threatening in the second-degree.

    The second instance of this crime occurs when an individual makes certain threats with the intent to cause evacuation of a building or public place. These threats may involve a violent criminal act or an act involving the use of a hazardous substance. If an individual makes such a threat not specifically intending to cause an evacuation but with reckless disregard of the possibility of doing so, that also constitutes first-degree threatening.

    Penalties for Threatening

    Second-degree threatening is usually considered a Class A misdemeanor, which means that the maximum penalty includes up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. First-degree threatening is most often treated as a Class D felony and the penalties for such offenses include up to five years of imprisonment and a fine as high as $5,000.

    Penalties will increase, however, if these offenses are committed on school property. Threatening in the first degree then becomes a Class C felony with a maximum prison sentence of ten years while threatening in the second-degree increases to a Class D felony. Penalties are equivalent to those for first-degree threatening.

    In addition, courts often impose restraining orders in threatening cases to protect the individual who complained of threatening behavior. If the terms of such orders are not fully understood and complied with, the violation becomes a separate felony offense.

    Working with a Westport Threatening Attorney

    In threatening cases, it is important to avoid taking any actions that could escalate the charges or increase potential penalties. It is also crucial to collect and preserve evidence. So, if you have been charged with criminal threatening, consult an experienced Westport threatening lawyer as soon as possible.

    Your attorney can explain how to comply with court orders and review the options for defensive strategies to help you work toward the best possible resolution of your case.