Have you Been Charged with Making Terrorist Threats? A Criminal Defense Attorney in New Britain CT can Help

The crime of making terrorist threats is relatively new, having come into existence only within the last decade. The law is general and is used in the prosecution of terrorists, but is often used to prosecute other violations such as hate crimes, domestic violence and bomb threats. In many states, the word “terrorist” has been changed to mean “criminal”. Definitions vary by state but in most cases, a terrorist threat has been made if a person threatens violence with the intent of causing panic or fear.

Elements of the Terrorist Threat

There are five elements in a criminal/terrorist threat:

Willful threat: If a person willfully threatens another person with violence expected to result in bodily harm or death, a terrorist threat has occurred. Threats can be transmitted verbally, in writing, or online.

Intent: The threat must be made with menacing intent. For instance, if you threaten to bomb a school, you can be charged even if you do not have the means or the knowledge to carry out the activity.

Specificity and an unequivocal, unconditional nature: The threat must convey an immediate potential of occurrence, and it must directly state what is planned.

Incitement of fear: The threat must cause the victim to feel fear.

Reasonability of fear: If a person threatens to use a UFO to blow up a federal building, the threat likely will not be taken seriously.

Do all States have Terrorist Threat Laws?

Every state has a version of this law, but they vary widely. For instance, in Missouri the threat has to affect more than ten people. In California, the fear caused must be prolonged. Because states’ laws are so different, you should hire a criminal defense attorney that knows your state’s rules.

There are also federal laws against terrorist threats. These laws are narrower and cover offenses such as threatening the use of chemical weapons, as well as making false bomb reports. Punishments can range from a year in county jail up to life in prison.

Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney in New Britain CT

In the years after 9/11, even something as simple as calling in a bomb threat to avoid a tough test can mean years in prison. Such crimes are taken very seriously – if you’ve been accused of making terrorist threats, it is best that you contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in New Britain CT right away to discuss your legal options.

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