Darien Threatening Lawyer
In an era where the media is focused on violent crimes and heightened security concerns, society has become hyper-sensitive to perceived safety threats. This is why local police and prosecutors take threats very seriously, frequently enforcing and prosecuting the crime of threatening in the second-degree. If you have been charged with threatening someone, you should retain the services of a Darien threatening lawyer. Your qualified harassment attorney can fight to protect your reputation against threatening charges.
Is the First Amendment a Viable Defense Against Threatening Charges?
Many people are not aware that there is a fine line that separates free speech protected by our state and federal constitutions from speech that may be treated as criminally threatening. Under Connecticut law, an individual can be charged with the crime of threatening merely on the basis of spoken or written words without any menacing physical action.
The law provides penalties for this offense that include jail time, large fines and restraining orders that may prove difficult to comply with.
Anyone arrested for threatening second-degree should speak with a Darien threatening attorney who understands threatening laws and First Amendment defenses. They can help individuals who have been charged avoid making mistakes that might aggravate their charges.
Threatening Within the Context of Connecticut Law
Connecticut law defines two different versions of the offense of threatening, classified as threatening in the first and second degrees. Arrests for threatening second-degree are more commonly charged, as they arise in three basic situations.
Basic Situations Leading to Threats
The first situation where threatening in the second-degree law in Connecticut is violated is when an individual makes a physical threat to intentionally cause another person to be afraid that they are in danger of immediate serious physical harm.
The second scenario occurs when an individual makes a threat to commit a violent crime in order to cause terror in another person.
Finally, the third situation takes place when an individual threatens to commit a crime of violence not necessarily intending to terrorize another but with reckless disregard of the chance that they might cause such terror. If an individual has been accused of threatening, a Darien threatening attorney can help.
Darien Arrests for Threatening in the First Degree are Felonies
Threatening in the first-degree is considered a more serious crime but occurs in more limited circumstances. An individual may be convicted of first degree threatening for attempting to cause evacuation of a building or public place by threatening to commit a violent crime, or a crime involving the use of a hazardous substance. In addition, an individual may also be convicted of threatening in the first degree for using words or actions that would constitute second degree threatening while using or suggesting the use of a gun or other firearm.
Potential Penalties for Criminal Threatening
In many cases, threatening in the second-degree is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. This type of offense is typically penalized by a maximum term of one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. If the offense occurs on school grounds or in daycare facilities, then the penalty escalates to a Class D felony and the maximum sentence increases to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.
Threatening in the first-degree is generally treated as a Class D felony with the five-year maximum prison sentence and the potential for a $5,000 fine. Just as with threatening in the second degree, however, the offense becomes more serious if it takes place on school property, where it rises to a Class C felony with a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and a fine as high as $10,000.
Besides facing fines and terms of imprisonment, those convicted of criminal threatening also are likely to have a restraining order placed against them. If the terms of the order are not complied with exactly, then additional criminal charges will apply.
Retaining the Services of a Darien Threatening Attorney
In criminal threatening cases, evidence of words, actions, and intentions, make all the difference in a case. It is therefore critical to act quickly to collect and preserve electronic and digital evidence and surveillance videos.
If you have been arrested for threatening in the second or first degree, you should contact a Darien threatening lawyer attorney as soon as possible to begin working toward the best possible resolution of your case.