Is It Illegal to Threaten Someone?
Yes, it is illegal to make a criminal threat. Is verbally threatening someone a crime? Verbal threats may be said as a joke or as an intimidation tactic with no intention of causing bodily harm. Unfortunately, this could result in a Class C misdemeanor with a charge of Assault by Threat if the plaintiff takes legal action in Texas. That’s why anyone accused of Assault by Threat should talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about his or her case.
While we are afforded broad freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, this does not mean you can threaten people with fear or violence.
What Constitutes a Threat Legally?
The Texas Penal Code specifies that criminal threats create fear in another person, making him or her fearful for their safety. Criminal threats may occur verbally, electronically, or in written form; regardless of the medium, the penalties are severe.
Section 22.01 of Title 5 goes on to explain that the plaintiff may include a spouse, member of the household, dating partner, family member, public servant, or other individuals that may come in contact with the defendant. Therefore, a parent can take a threatener to court if he or she threatens a child.
First Time Offenders and Subsequent Accusations
The punishment given to repeat offenders is often more severe than the first instance of a crime. If you do end up with a second or third conviction for the same crime, prosecutors may elevate the offense to a felony.
Every case is different, but our Austin criminal defense attorney will aggressively pursue options to keep a conviction from appearing on your record, no matter the circumstances of your case.
Penalty for Threatening Someone
A conviction for verbal threats holds a maximum fine of $500 for a first-time offense, but taking the quick and easy route to settle the case could be a huge mistake. You would have to admit guilt for the verbal assault and deal with the hardships of an assault conviction on your permanent record.
Although no bodily injury occurred, anyone that looks into your past will see violent crime on your record. You may have a hard time getting hired, being accepted into lease agreements, and receiving approval for credit applications.
The consequences of a violent charge can cause a lifetime of hardships that you don't deserve. If you are fighting accusations of making a threat, you need Smith & Vinson Law Firm for your case.