Attorney Defending Clients Accused of Making Criminal Threats in CA

What are the California Laws and Consequences on Criminal Threats?

Jury Instruction 1300. Criminal Threat

The defendant is charged [in Count ] with having made a criminal threat [in violation of Penal Code section 422].

To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that:

1. The defendant willfully threatened to unlawfully kill or unlawfully cause great bodily injury to <insert name of complaining witness or member[s] of complaining witness’s immediate family>;

2. The defendant made the threat (orally/in writing/by electronic communication device);

3. The defendant intended that (his/her) statement be understood as a threat [and intended that it be communicated to <insert name of complaining witness>];

4. The threat was so clear, immediate, unconditional, and specific that it communicated to <insert name of complaining witness> a serious intention and the immediate prospect that the threat would be carried out;

5. The threat actually caused <insert name of complaining witness> to be in sustained fear for (his/her) own safety [or for the safety of (his/her) immediate family];  AND

6. ____________’s <insert name of complaining witness> fear was reasonable under the circumstances.

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose.

In deciding whether a threat was sufficiently clear, immediate, unconditional, and specific, consider the words themselves, as well as the surrounding circumstances.

Someone who intends that a statement be understood as a threat does not have to actually intend to carry out the threatened act [or intend to have someone else do so].

Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose.

In deciding whether a threat was sufficiently clear, immediate, unconditional, and specific, consider the words themselves, as well as the surrounding circumstances.

Someone who intends that a statement be understood as a threat does not have to actually intend to carry out the threatened act [or intend to have someone else do so].

Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury. It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.

Sustained fear means fear for a period of time that is more than momentary, fleeting, or transitory.

[An immediate ability to carry out the threat is not required.]

[An electronic communication device includes, but is not limited to: a telephone, cellular telephone, pager, computer, video recorder, or fax machine.]

[Immediate family means (a) any spouse, parents, and children; (b) any grandchildren, grandparents, brothers and sisters related by blood or marriage; or (c) any person who regularly lives in the other person’s household [or who regularly lived there within the prior six months].]

 

Contact Us Today For a Free Consultation

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • Brandon was extremely personable, financially reasonable as well as professional.

    “I am forever grateful to know & trust an attorney that has a passion to help people, when they just may NOT know how to help themselves!!”

    Sara S.
  • They truly are all amazing! Thank you for having my back!

    “They handled my case with so much respect, diligence, passion and determination.”

    Rubi R.
  • Amazing, diligent, and intelligent.

    “I would never want anyone else representing me!”

    Angelica S.