Greenwich Threatening Lawyer
Greenwich, Connecticut arrests for threatening offenses draw a blurry line between free speech and speech that is considered illegal threatening. An individual may be charged on the basis of words alone, regardless of physical action. The potential consequences include terms of imprisonment, hefty fines and the imposition of lengthy restraining orders which, if violated, can lead to further criminal charges.
If you have been arrested in Greenwich for threatening second degree, contact a Greenwich threatening lawyer who can help you fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help you work toward the most appropriate resolution.
Defending Threatening Arrests
There are two statutory threatening crimes in Connecticut. The most common is second-degree threatening which is set forth in CGS § 53a-62 of the criminal code. Under this statute, an individual may be found guilty of threatening for either:
- Threatening to physically harm another if the threat is made with the specific intent to cause the fear that serious physical injury is imminent
- Making a threat to commit a violent crime if such threat is made with the intent to terrorize another
- Making a threat to commit a violent crime while acting with reckless disregard as to whether words or actions might terrorize another
Some examples of this type of threatening behavior could include an individual threatening to hit someone if they step closer, or an employee suggesting that they might be set a store on fire to keep from having to come into work early for a sale. To learn more about some of the most cost-effective defense strategies, individuals should contact a Greenwich threatening lawyer.
Justifying a First Degree Threatening Offense
Greenwich threatening lawyers know that first degree offenses are considered serious crimes. This offense occurs when an individual acts with intent or reckless disregard as to the likelihood of causing evacuation of a place where people tend to gather and that individual makes a threat involving the use of a hazardous substance such as a dangerous chemical. First-degree threatening also includes situations where conduct would be considered threatening in the second degree, but the individual uses or suggests the use of a firearm.
Likelihood of Jail Time
Second-degree threatening is usually classified as a Class A misdemeanor. This means that the maximum penalty includes up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,000. However, if the offense occurs on the grounds of a school or preschool, either public or private, then the crime is treated as a Class D felony with penalties that include up to five years in prison and a fine as high as $5,000.
First-degree threatening is most often treated as a Class D felony with the same maximum penalties. If the first-degree offense takes places on school property or property in use by a school, then it will be treated as a Class C felony with a one-year minimum prison sentence up to a maximum of ten years and a maximum fine of up to $10,000.
Greenwich threatening lawyers have seen when courts often establish a restraining order or protective order to protect the person who complained of the threatening behavior. It can be difficult to understand the terms of such orders, and violating them becomes a very serious additional offense.
Contact a Greenwich Threatening Attorney
Although the potential penalties are severe, it is possible to successfully fight a threatening charge. In particular, evidence can be introduced to show that an individual did not act with the intent or reckless disregard needed for the conduct to become a criminal offense. The sooner a Greenwich threatening lawyer begins to work on a threatening case, the easier it is to collect and preserve evidence.