Criminal Threats Penalties In California

Free Criminal Case Review at 888-579-4844

California Penal Code 422(a) defines the crime of Criminal Threats as the willful act of threatening, whether in-person, by telephone, or by any other form of electronic communication, to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person with the specific intent that the statement is to be taken as a threat. Even if you have no intent of actually carrying it out the threat, simply causing that person to fear for his or her own safety or the safety of his or her immediate family would be sufficient under PC 422(a). Also commonly referred to as “Terrorist Threats,” Criminal Threats is a very serious criminal charge in California, which carries severe penalties and consequences, especially for those facing felony Criminal Threats charges as the felony iteration is a strikeable offense under California’s 3 Strikes Law.

Is Criminal Threats a Felony or Misdemeanor?

The state of California considers Criminal Threats a “wobbler” offense. Therefore, the charge can be prosecuted as a felony or misdemeanor. Whether you’re charged with a felony or misdemeanor Criminal Threat greatly depends on the type of threat you’re accused of making and your prior criminal history, particularly, your prior history of violence.  

Punishment for Criminal Threats In California

Criminal Threats penalties in California include imprisonment in the county jail for up to 1 year for misdemeanor charges or up to 4 years in state prison for felony charges. Furthermore, if you are convicted of felony Criminal Threats and are sentenced to state prison, you will receive a Strike and will be required to serve at least 85% of your term of imprisonment. Other possible penalties include probation, community service, a firearm ban, fines, and anger management counseling.

Criminal Threats Penalties in Domestic Violence Cases

Domestic Violence is a broad term which encompasses a variety of criminal charges based on the nature of your relationship with the alleged victim. Certain offenses, such as Criminal Threats, are punished more harshly if the acts fall under the California Domestic Violence umbrella. In addition to the aforementioned California Criminal Threats penalties, you face additional punishments, such as mandatory completion of a 52-week batterers program if you’re charged with a Domestic Violence related Criminal Threats charge.

More California Criminal Threats Questions? Contact Our Criminal Defense Team Today For a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with Criminal Threats charges in Los Angeles, call our defense attorneys today for a free case evaluation. Our criminal defense team has over 3 decades of experience achieving positive case results for clients charged with Criminal and Terrorist Threats charges in adult, as well as juvenile courts in Los Angeles, Torrance, Van Nuys, Pasadena, and Long Beach. Call us now for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation at (888) 579-4844 or contact us online.

Stephen Sitkoff

Stephen Sitkoff

Partner and Criminal Defense Attorney

Stephen Sitkoff is a partner at Sitkoff & Hanrahan who started his legal career as a deputy district attorney more than 30 years ago prosecuting cases throughout the LA criminal court system in Southern California.
Eugene Hanrahan@2x

Eugene Hanrahan

Partner and Criminal Defense Attorney

Eugene Hanrahan is both a former federal and county prosecutor and partner at Sitkoff & Hanrahan, LLP with two decades of criminal law experience. Mr. Hanrahan’s criminal defense expertise ranges from misdemeanors to serious, complex felony cases.
James Kim

James Kim

Senior Case Analyst

James possesses over a decade of legal experience and serves as the firm’s senior case analyst handling the initial calls from prospective clients.