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Can You Go to Jail for Terroristic Threats?

Short Answer? Yes.

Making terroristic threats in New Jersey can lead to criminal charges, and if convicted, an individual may face imprisonment. In New Jersey, terroristic threats are considered a criminal offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3, and it is treated seriously by the legal system.

What is a Terroristic Threat?

According to New Jersey law, a person can be charged with terroristic threats if they threaten to commit a crime of violence with the purpose of terrorizing another, or to cause the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.

The statute outlines the elements that constitute a terroristic threat. To be charged with making a terroristic threat in New Jersey, the following elements must generally be present:

  1. Intent: The person making the threat must have the purpose of terrorizing another person or causing public inconvenience. The threat must be made knowingly and with the intention to induce fear.
  2. Threatening Language or Conduct: The threat can be communicated through spoken or written words, or any other form of conduct. It may involve threats of violence, death, or other forms of harm to the individual or the public.
  3. Nature of the Threat: The threat must be of a nature to suggest that the speaker intends to commit a crime of violence or to cause the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation.
  4. Reckless Disregard: In some cases, the threat may be made with reckless disregard of the risk of causing terror or inconvenience.

The severity of the charge and potential penalties depend on various factors, including the nature of the threat, the specific circumstances, and the intent behind the threat. Convictions for terroristic threats can result in significant consequences, including imprisonment, fines, probation, and other penalties.

What are the Possible Penalties for Terroristic Threats?

As a general rule, the crime of terroristic threats is charged as a third-degree offense, so while it is possible to be sentenced to probation if found guilty, it is also possible to be sentenced to a term of incarceration in county jail or even state prison. In certain circumstances—such as communicating a terroristic threat during a time of county, state or national emergency—the offense can also be charged as a second-degree crime, and if found guilty of terroristic threats in the more serious scenario, probation is not an option. Second-degree crimes carry a presumption of a state prison sentence from 5-10 years.

What Will Happen in My Terroristic Threats Case?

It's important to note that making terroristic threats is a serious criminal offense, and legal consequences can vary based on the details of the case. If you or someone you know is facing charges related to terroristic threats in New Jersey, it is advisable to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney who can provide guidance and representation in navigating the legal process. The Forrester Law Firm provides trusted guidance in these situations and, as a criminal trial attorney, aggressively represents people who face criminal charges in New Jersey. Schedule a Free Consultation with A New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney by calling (609) 613-1513 or scheduling online.

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