Ridgefield Threatening Lawyer
In these times of heightened security and terror alerts, any words or actions that can be considered a threat are taken seriously by Ridgefield, Connecticut police and prosecutors. As a result, Connecticut lawmakers have enacted two statutory provisions making threatening a criminal offense punishable by jail time and substantial fines, and these offenses are charged regularly, particularly in Ridgefield domestic violence cases.
Threatening charges can also lead to the imposition of criminal protective/restraining orders which may be complicated and difficult to understand. Any violation of these orders becomes a serious offense in its own right.
If you are arrested in Ridgefield, Connecticut for threatening second degree, it may be beneficial to speak with a Ridgefield threatening lawyer right away. A distinguished harassment attorney can help you fight the charges and avoid mistakes that could increase potential penalties.
Understanding Ridgefield Threatening Laws
Ridgefield threatening lawyers can explain, of the two criminal threatening offenses, second-degree threatening is charged most frequently and is defined in C.G.S. § 53a-62 of the Connecticut penal code. This statute prohibits three basic types of conduct:
- Physical threats made to cause another person to fear the physical harm is imminent
- Threats to commit a violent crime made to cause terror in another
- Threats to commit a violent crime made with reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing another
First-Degree Threatening Arrests in Ridgefield
First-degree threatening is less common and it can occur in two types of situations. One scenario is when a physical or verbal threat would constitute threatening in the second degree, but where the individual involved either uses a firearm or holds, threatens to use or even pretends to use a gun. The inclusion of a firearm changes the second degree threatening into first-degree threatening.
The second situation occurs when an individual uses threats with the intention of causing evacuation of a public place. The threat could involve the use of a hazardous substance or the threat to commit a violent criminal act. The intent may either be specific intent or simply reckless disregard of the chance of causing public inconvenience or an evacuation of a public place.
Penalties for Threatening Behavior
An arrest in Ridgefield, Connecticut for Threatening in the Second Degree is often treated as a Class A misdemeanor and as such, it is punishable by as much as one year of imprisonment and a fine as high as $2,000. Threatening in the First Degree is generally considered a Class D felony with maximum penalties that include up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
However, if either of these crimes is committed on the grounds of a school, the penalties increase. Threatening in the second degree escalates to a Class D felony if committed on school property and threatening in the first degree becomes a Class C felony when the offense takes place on school grounds. The maximum penalties term of imprisonment then moves up to ten years and the maximum fine increases to $10,000.
Ridgefield threatening lawyers have seen a criminal protective restraining order is often imposed to protect the individual who was placed in fear by the allegedly threatening behavior. It is essential to comply with the terms of this order to avoid additional severe penalties.
Defending Harassment-Related Offenses
In cases involving allegations of criminal threatening, it is crucial to not only establish a solid defense but also to avoid compounding any offense. To do so, you must understand the charges and the terms of any restraining orders.
A Ridgefield threatening lawyer with experience can not only explain the charges and options for combating the charges but can also provide guidance on how to proceed at each step in the Danbury criminal court proceedings and serve as your advocate. An attorney can also start immediately to collect and preserve evidence regarding key issues such as intent.