When most people think of the phrase terroristic threats, they tend to remember horrific real-life examples of terrorism. As it turns out, terroristic threats are criminalized under both state law in Texas as well as federal law.
The problem with many terroristic threats cases is that the alleged offender’s words or actions are often taken wildly out of context. When a person is nonetheless charged with any kind of terroristic threats crime, they are going to need a very good explanation in court to avoid some possibly serious penalties
Terroristic Threats Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
Were you or your loved one arrested for making alleged terroristic threats in the Plano area? Do not attempt to explain yourself to authorities.
Instead, be sure to contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to set up a meeting
State Terroristic Threats Penalties in Texas
Texas Penal Code § 22.07 establishes it is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up-to 180 days in jail when an alleged offender threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies. It is also a Class B misdemeanor to threaten to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, but such an offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and/or up to one year in jail when the offense is committed against a member of the person’s family or household or otherwise constitutes family violence, or is committed against a public servant.
Terroristic threats is also a Class A misdemeanor when an alleged offender threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, or place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other forms of conveyance, or other public places. A terroristic threat is a third-degree felony when an alleged offender threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to do any of the following:
- Cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, power supply, or other public services;
- Place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
- Influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
Federal Terroristic Threats Penalties in Collin County
The federal law against terroristic threats is found in 18 U.S. Code § 2332b. There is also 25 CFR § 11.402, which holds that a person is guilty of a misdemeanor if he or she threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or causing 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.
A person can face federal charges for threatening, attempting, or conspiring to kill, kidnap, maim, commit an assault resulting in serious bodily injury, or assault with a dangerous weapon any person within the United States, or create a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to any other person by destroying or damaging any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States or by attempting or conspiring to destroy or damage any structure, conveyance, or other real or personal property within the United States.
Threatening to commit such an offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. When an alleged offender attempts or conspires to commit an enumerated offense, the conviction is punishable by any term of years up to the maximum punishment that would have applied had the offense been completed.
Terroristic Threats Defenses in Texas
Your First Amendment rights could prove to be an important defense against many terroristic threats charges. When you were not seriously encouraging violence and made comments in jest, you should not be facing criminal charges.
Some cases could also involve alleged offenders being misidentified. When criminal charges are based on what a witness heard, it may be possible that they did not hear the alleged offender correctly. Some prosecutors may simply lack the evidence needed to prove these crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.
Collin County Terroristic Threats Resources
Felony Charges Dropped in “Facebook Threat” Case — Read an Austin Chronicle story about Justin Carter, the then 18-year-old who was playing the multiplayer online strategy video game League of Legends in 2013 when he got into a verbal exchange with another player who called him crazy, and Justin responded by typing: “I’m f- – – – – in the head alright, I think I’ma SHOOT UP A KINDERGARTEN […] AND WATCH THE BLOOD OF THE INNOCENT RAIN DOWN […] AND EAT THE BEATING HEART OF ONE OF THEM.” Carter typed “LOL” and “JK” afterward, but a Canadian woman who saw the exchange took a screenshot and sent it to law enforcement officials in Texas who arrested Carter the following day on terroristic threat charges. In 2018, he accepted a plea deal dismissing the felony charges against him.
Patriot Act | United States Department of Justice — Short for “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001,” the USA PATRIOT Act is a controversial Act of Congress. Visit this website to view the full text of the Act, review testimony, and learn what it does in regards to anti-terrorism efforts. Originally passed on October 26, 2001, the Patriot Act was reauthorized in 2005, amended and reauthorized in 2006, and had key provisions extended in 2011.
Man arrested for making terroristic threat after 5 hour standoff in Chambers Co. — A five hour stand-off ended in an arrest over the weekend In Chambers County. The Chambers County Sheriff’s Office said it responded to the 1300 block of Spring Branch Drive off Gou Hole Road Saturday in reference to a discharge of a firearm complaint. Deputies said when they arrived, a man named Keith Biehl was standing outside of his home, firing a long gun. Deputies said they gave Biehl commands to drop the weapon, but he refused. Deputies with the Chambers County Special Response Team and Chambers County Mental Health Division responded to the scene along with Texas DPS and Texas Game Wardens.
One found guilty, sentenced to probation after threatening high school on social media — One person has been found guilty Tuesday in a Randall County Court after an August 2020 incident involving a social media post threatening to kill everyone at his high school. On Aug. 17, Daniel Scott Brown was found guilty of Felony Terroristic Threat after a two-day jury trial, according to the Randall County District Attorney. After a sentencing hearing, Brown was sentenced to two years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, and probated for six years of probation. As described by the District Attorney, this sentence means Brown will not serve any time in prison as long as he cooperates with the terms of his probation, which include not possessing a firearm and mental health treatment.
Man arrested after accused of threatening ex-wife, boyfriend with gun — A man was arrested Monday night after a police report said he threatened to harm his ex-wife via text message. Just after 9:00 p.m., Lubbock Police responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in the 3500 block of 79th Street, according to the report. The woman told an officer that her ex-husband, Jerrod Drinnon, sent her a threatening message to harm her boyfriend, along with a photo of him holding a firearm, the report said. According to the report, the woman and her boyfriend said Drinnon had made threats before, but not to this extent. The woman appeared shaken by the messages and was on high alert, according to the report. She would stop talking and look at vehicles passing by the home while talking to the officer. She said she feared for her children’s safety as well. Drinnon was arrested and taken to the Lubbock County Detention Center on charges of making a terroristic threat of a family/household, terroristic threat causing imminent fear, and unlawfully carrying a weapon, according to jail records.
Find A Collin County Defense Attorney for Terroristic Threats | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
If you or your loved one has been arrested for alleged terroristic threats in Plano, you must not delay in seeking legal representation. You will want to be sure to contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Our firm will fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Our lawyers will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.