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California Penal Code 422: Making Criminal Threats

Defense Against Serious Consequences

Threatening to commit a violent crime may result in a charge of California Penal Code 422. If you have been charged with this crime, you risk serious consequences if convicted. It may count as a third-strike under California's brutal sentencing guidelines. Even if you did not carry out any violent behavior, your future could be seriously impacted. In the wake of school shootings and other mass violence, the simple mention of threatening death or great bodily injury to another person is taken very seriously by local, state and even federal law enforcement officials. But even in cases that do not involve mass violence, if you have been accused of making a threat against someone, know your rights and your risks. Most importantly, you should know that highly-experienced attorneys are on your side and prepared to protect your constitutional guarantees.

California law defines criminal threats as threats made verbally, in writing, by electronic means, or through nearly any form of communication. If a person believes that you intend to do harm to them, to a member of their family or to some other specific individual else based upon anything you have said or written, they may report you to law enforcement officials. The alleged threats may have been made through text, email, or other form of writing. If your spoken or written words induce fear, they may be considered a threat. The law is quite vague and can be applied in wide-variety of scenarios. While an arrest can be made based upon very questionable evidence, prosecutors may have difficulty proving that threats actually induced fear or should be regarded as a criminal threat. This difficulty is an advantage to our clients because we know how to challenge the prosecutor's case.

Protecting your Rights if you have been Accused of Making Criminal Threats

You could be imprisoned for months or even a year and also face large fines if you are convicted of making criminal threats. But you can minimize your risk of conviction with the right attorneys on your side. If you have been arrested on PC 422, below are some of the ways that we protect your rights:

  • Alleged threats were not directed at any specific person
  • An accuser seeks revenge for some reason and has falsely accused you
  • Any threats were not verbalized or written
  • Someone else used your phone or computer to make threats posing as you
  • The alleged "target" of the threat did not actually feel fear
  • There is no reasonable explanation why your accuser would fear what you said or wrote

No matter your situation, contact our legal team for your defense. However, you are particularly encouraged to call us for criminal defense if you are facing other charges and especially if you may be prosecuted for a third strike. We are prepared for all criminal cases but for cases with the highest stakes, we are particularly qualified.