What Constitutes a Criminal Threat? | Criminal Defense Attorney, Wichita, KS
While you should always think carefully before speaking, this is especially true when making criminal threats. Even if you have no intention of carrying out a threat or physically harming someone, you can still experience the serious consequences associated with making a criminal threat. Our criminal defense attorneys in Wichita, Kansas, at the McConnell Law Firm, have years of experience defending criminal cases and are discussing what constitutes a criminal threat. Learn more about the charge and the potential penalties in Kansas below!
What Is a Criminal Threat?
A criminal threat consists of one or more individuals making a threat that creates a fear of harm. According to Kansas Statutes, a criminal threat is any threat to commit violence communicated with the intent to place another in fear or to cause the evacuation, lockdown or disruption in regular, ongoing activities; adulterate or contaminate any food, raw agricultural commodity, beverage, drug, animal feed, plant or public water supply; or expose any animal in this state to any contagious or infectious disease.
A person can not only communicate such threats verbally, but they can take almost any form, including verbal, written, electronic, or through a third party. In particular instances, non-verbal body language gestures and actions have been sufficient enough to communicate a criminal threat. To prove a criminal threat, the threat must convey fear of harm to an individual and lead them to believe it is credible and real.
A Real-World Example: Suppose you verbally threaten to kill your friend if they eat the last piece of chocolate cake; that would not be considered a criminal threat as no real intent of harm was conveyed, but if you make the same statement to your friend while throwing a brick at their head, the threat is both credible and specific.
Kansas Penalties for Criminal Threat
According to Kansas Statutes, criminal threat is a severity level 9, person felony with a maximum prison sentence of 17 months and a fine of up to $100,000. If such threats become aggravated and require evacuation, lockdown, etc., the charge will be categorized as a severity level 5, nonperson felony and will increase the prison sentence to a maximum of 136 months and a fine of up to $300,000. Additional factors that may impact the penalties imposed for criminal threat include the defendant:
- Carrying out the threat while armed with a deadly weapon.
- Making repeated threats to the victim.
- Threatening retaliation against a judge, officer, juror, lawyer, or court official.
- Threatening someone based on prejudice or hate.
- Causing the evacuation of a school, government building, public transportation, or other place of assembly.
Note From Our Experts: Because state and federal laws vary significantly regarding penalties for criminal threats, our criminal defense attorneys in Wichita recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible for further clarification and to avoid harsher penalties.
Have You Been Accused?
If you have been falsely accused of making a criminal threat, we encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm as soon as possible. While every case is different, and no conclusions should be drawn without first consulting a Wichita criminal defense attorney about the specifics of your case, it is always in your best interest to have a skilled attorney by your side from the beginning.
Request a Free Consultation
Do you or a loved one need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Wichita? We encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm at (316) 243-5903 for a free consultation.Contact Us
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