Everyone from a young age learned the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” However, when those words are construed to contain threats of violence, then they can end in criminal charges. Section 2706 of the crimes code defines the offense of Terroristic Threats. A person is guilty of terroristic threats if they communicate a threat to: commit a crime of violence, or to cause the evacuation of a public place, or to otherwise cause serious public inconvenience or terror.
Many people charged with terroristic threats don’t know what they’re getting themselves into at the time they make the statements. Kids may find themselves charged under this section when they call in a bomb threat trying to get the day off school. Or someone may say that they’re going to kill someone or seriously beat their ass when they have no intention of doing either of those things. Threats in all these scenarios are taken very seriously by the Commonwealth, and those who make them may find themselves charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable with up to 5 years in prison.
It’s not necessary in the case of terroristic threats to show that the person actually intended to beat the other person up or whether they had any intention of bombing a building. What’s important is that the threat was made, and that it was the type of communication that would tend to cause serious public inconvenience or terror. Keeping that in mind, the terroristic threats charge isn’t meant to cover idle threats that no one would ever take seriously or poorly thought out jokes. There is significant overlap between a charge of terroristic threats, and a similar charge of disorderly conduct, which is a lesser offense, which is something to keep in mind in negotiations with the Commonwealth.
If you have been charged with terroristic threats, no matter what your conduct in the case was, you need to know is that the Commonwealth takes these cases seriously. Don’t count on being able to just tell your side of the story and being cut a break. Instead, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to argue on your behalf and reach a satisfactory conclusion. Attorney Frank Walker can argue on your behalf, and get the charges dismissed or significantly reduced, or pursue alternative outcomes. Don’t go it alone. Attorney Walker is here to help.
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense, Super Lawyers and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.
If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident in WV or PA, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation following a serious accident or injury.