If you are reading this page you may think that the charge of terroristic threats only applies to the tragedies you see on the news and not to regular criminal charges. However, terroristic threats is a common charge in New Jersey and is commonly charged in domestic violence disputes.
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If you have been charged with making terroristic threats, you will face an experienced prosecutor in Superior Court. This prosecutor has handled many cases like yours and knows effective strategies to secure guilty pleas and convictions. Luckily you don’t have to face the prosecutor alone. The experienced and strategic defense lawyers of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych can fight to protect you from the charges you face. To schedule a no-obligation, private initial case evaluation call 800-508-9786 or contact us online today.
What are Terroristic Threats?
The New Jersey Criminal Statute § 2C:12-3, titled “Terroristic Threats,” provides in pertinent part:
- A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or to cause 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. …
Additionally, a person is guilty of the crime of terroristic threats if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation. Another basis for charging a person with terroristic threats in New Jersey includes conduct that a person engaged in that is considered in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such evacuation or otherwise done to cause serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such inconvenience.
What Must the State Prove to Convict a Person Charged With Making Terroristic Threats?
In order to convict a person of the charge of terroristic threats, the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant threatened to commit a crime of violence.
- That the threat was made with the purpose to terrorize another or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such evacuation or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such inconvenience.
The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is that defendant threatened to commit any crime of violence. The State has to allege that defendant threatened to commit the a particular violent crime and The trial court should instruct the jury on the elements of the crime of violence the defendant threatened to commit. It is important to note that in order for the State to be able to convict a person charged with making terroristic threats, that the words or actions of the defendant must be severe enough so that they convey menace or fear of a crime of violence to the ordinary person.
If the jury finds that the State has proved all of the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, then you will be found guilty of making terroristic threats. However, if the state does not prove any element of the crime, you cannot be convicted.
What Are the Penalties for Making Terroristic Threats?
The penalties for conviction of terrorist threats vary in New Jersey. However, the New Jersey legislature has stated that, a person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to kill another with the purpose to put him in imminent fear of death under circumstances reasonably causing the victim to believe the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out.
As noted above, terroristic threats is a third-degree crime. This means that if you are convicted you could face a prison sentence of three to five years and a fine of up to $15,000 or both depending on your case.
Rely on an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer in Atlantic City
If you or a loved one is facing serious criminal charges due to allegations of making terroristic threats in Atlantic City, the experienced criminal defense lawyers of the Law Firm of John J. Zarych can fight for you. We work to defend your rights by asserting all reasonable defenses and forcing the prosecutor to carry each and every element of their burden of proof. Furthermore, we engage with the prosecution strategically to determine whether there are additional options to mitigate the consequences you face. To schedule a free and confidential initial case analysis call our firm at 800-508-9786 or schedule an appointment online.