There are several subsections of Terroristic Threat. The most common subsections, at least in Travis County, for Terroristic Threat involves a person who threatens to commit any offense involving violence with intent to place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Or, and subsection (5) states, a person who places the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury. This offense is a Class B Misdemeanor, but if the person is found to have a dating, family, or household member relationship with the person(s) being threatened, then the Terroristic Threat offense is charged as a Class A Misdemeanor.
Terroristic Threat cases are often contentious, since many times there are conflicting versions of what was said. The exact words used are key in these cases. It's important to write down notes, soon after the incident, to make sure the exact phrases or words used are recalled in your defense for when Court comes, often months later after arrest or the incident.
It's also important to understand there are multiple subsections to a Terroristic Threat, and each carries with it differing penalties.
Related areas to Terroristic Threat include Terroristic Threat of Holdhouse Member or Family, which is a Threat involving the two people who have a family, dating, or household relationship -- described by Section 71.0021(b), 71.003, or 71.005, Family Code. Also, Terroristic Threat Causes Fear or SBI is when the offense involves a threat causing fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.
A person charged with Terroristic Threat is arrested and taken to jail. In jail, the person is forced to await a Judge who will review the case and the person's history, and set a bond amount. In some cases, the Judge will grant a personal bond. If not, or if significant delay occurs, the Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.
Often, after an incident, the police will merely issue a warrant for the suspect, if that person is not found at the scene. If the officer does file an arrest warrant, clearing it will require a Walkthrough. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.
Defenses for Terroristic Threat vary depending on which subsection a person is charged under. Most commonly, the word imminent is crucial, since the penal code requires a person be in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Thus if the threat is something akin to "If you shout at me again, I'm going to drive home and arm myself," there is a decent argument to be made that such a threat is not something that will quickly happen.
If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.
Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Terroristic Threat cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.
Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.
Your goal should be Dismissal for any Terroristic Threat charge. While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.
Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.
(a) A person commits an offense if he threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to: (1) cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies; (2) place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury; (3) prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place; (4) cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service; (5) place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or (6) influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
Terroristic Threat is generally a Class B misdemeanor, except that the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if the offense is committed against a family member, household member, or someone in a dating relationship (with defendant). An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is a state jail felony if the offense is committed against a person the actor knows is a peace officer or judge.
An offense under Subsection (a)(3) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the actor causes pecuniary loss of $1,500 or more to the owner of the building, room, place, or conveyance, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.
An offense under Subsection (a)(4), (a)(5), or (a)(6) is a felony of the third degree.
|Level of Offense||Punishment|
|Class B Misdemeanor||Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Not more than 365 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines|
|State Jail Felony||Between 6 months and 2 years in State Jail, and/or fines|
|3rd Degree Felony||2-10 years in prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines|
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