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Understanding Criminal Threats in California Under Penal Code Section 422

Posted by Dan Kann | Jun 08, 2024 | 0 Comments

Here at the Kann California Law Group, our experienced criminal defense attorneys know that accusations of criminal threats can have devastating effects on your personal and professional life. Being charged under California Penal Code Section 422 for criminal threats is a serious matter that requires a thorough understanding of the law and a strong defense strategy. This post will explore the intricacies of Penal Code Section 422, the potential penalties, and the defenses available to those accused.

What is Penal Code Section 422?

California Penal Code Section 422 defines criminal threats as the act of threatening to commit a crime that will result in death or great bodily injury to another person. For a threat to be considered criminal, it must meet specific criteria:
- Intent: The threat must be made with the intent that it is taken as a serious threat, even if there is no intent to actually carry it out.
- Communication: The threat must be communicated verbally, in writing, or via electronic communication.
- Specificity and Unambiguity: The threat must be specific and unequivocal, causing the recipient to be in sustained fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family.
- Sustained Fear: The fear experienced by the victim must be more than momentary or fleeting; it should be sustained.

Penalties for Criminal Threats

The penalties for criminal threats under Penal Code Section 422 can be severe, and the crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances:
- Misdemeanor: A conviction can result in up to one year in county jail and a fine.
- Felony: A conviction can lead to up to three years in state prison. If a weapon was used in making the threat, additional penalties may apply.
- Strike Under the Three Strikes Law: A felony conviction for criminal threats is considered a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law, which can lead to harsher penalties for future convictions.

Defending Against Criminal Threats Charges

Facing charges of criminal threats can be overwhelming, but with the right legal representation, there are several potential defenses that can be employed:
- Lack of Intent: Demonstrating that there was no intention for the threat to be taken seriously.
- No Sustained Fear: Proving that the alleged victim did not experience sustained fear.
- Ambiguous or Vague Threat: Arguing that the threat was not specific or unequivocal enough to meet the legal definition.
- False Accusation: Showing that the accusation is false or motivated by ulterior motives.

The Importance of Experienced Legal Representation

The consequences of a criminal threats conviction can be life-altering, impacting your freedom, reputation, and future opportunities. Here at the Kann California Law Group, our experienced criminal defense attorneys understand the gravity of these charges and are committed to providing a robust defense. We will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case, challenge the evidence, and fight to protect your rights.

Accused of Making Criminal Threats? Get Help Now!!!

If you or a loved one is facing charges for criminal threats under California Penal Code Section 422, it is crucial to act quickly and secure experienced legal representation. The penalties are severe, and the legal process can be complex and daunting. Contact our attorneys here at the Kann California Law Group today for a confidential consultation. Our skilled criminal defense attorneys are dedicated to defending your rights and achieving the best possible outcome for your case.

The best way to contact us is through our secure confidential contact form. One of our attorneys will reach out to you right away. You can also speak with one of our attorneys directly at 888-744-7730. When you are accused of making Criminal Threats, your future is at stake—take action today to protect your rights and secure your freedom.

About the Author

Dan Kann

Daniel E. Kann has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending individuals facing criminal prosecution in Southern California. Dan fights criminal cases throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


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