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If you’ve been charged with threats or intimidation in Connecticut, you might be wondering if the charges are valid, particularly if you didn’t follow the threats with action of any kind.

However, making a threat against someone else is illegal in numerous situations in Connecticut, whether or not the perpetrator follows through on the threat.  facing accusations of criminal threats, you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney to explore legal strategies.

Threat Law Basics 

In Connecticut, someone may be charged with criminal threats if: 

  • They intentionally cause or seek to put someone else in fear of impending major harm by using a physical threat
  • They threaten to perpetrate any violent crime with the aim of terrorizing someone else
  • They threaten to conduct a violent crime despite the inherent risk of doing so

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution does not protect credible threats, such as a genuine statement of intent to cause harm (141 Conn. App. 377). Under the law, terror is described as “words or acts meant to scare or to cause intense fear or apprehension in another person.” (81 Conn. App. 248).

To be deemed a real threat, there has to be convincing proof that someone issued a credible threat and the threat put the subject in imminent danger of serious bodily harm, or the reasonable fear of it. (2013 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2417).

Penalties If Convicted 

Threatening someone in the first degree is charged as a felony crime, whereas threatening someone in the second degree is charged a misdemeanor. This means that threatening a person in the first degree will typically result in harsher punishments, including a jail term ranging from one to five years. Threatening a person in the second degree can result in up to one year in prison.

Potential Defenses

Potential defenses against charges of criminal threats include: 

  • The threat wasn’t immediate or specific 
  • The victim’s fear of your statement was unreasonable 
  • You are being falsely accused by someone with an ulterior motive 
  • You did not actually say anything that could be reasonably considered a threat 

Get Help from a Hartford, CT Criminal Defense Lawyer Now 

After being charged with a criminal offense, your reputation, record, and future are at risk. Contact experienced Hartford criminal defense attorney J. Christopher Llinas for a consultation today by dialing (860) 530-1781.

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