A terroristic threat charge often arises during domestic violence incidents and therefore, may overlap with restraining orders. However, these offenses are not confined to the realm of domestic violence and may involve any situation during which one person threats to commit a crime of violence against another in New Jersey.
These threats can be made verbally or in written form and may be documented in emails, text messages, or on social media platforms. In certain circumstances, terroristic threats can be classified as a second-degree crime, specifically, during a period of national, state, or county emergency.
Otherwise, terroristic threats is a third-degree crime. Whether you are charged with first-time offender terroristic threat, a second or third-degree felony, you may be subject to a significant term of imprisonment and other collateral consequences. With these penalties in mind, it is imperative to consult with a knowledgeable terroristic threats defense attorney as soon as possible.
The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices know the intricacies of the system and utilizes their extensive experience to achieve the most desirable outcomes for their clients, whether that involves the negotiation of a plea, enrollment in a diversionary program, or an outright dismissal of the charges. Contact them today for a free evaluation of your case and learn more about how they can help you to navigate a terroristic threat charge.
NJ Terroristic Threats
NJ Terroristic Threats offenses are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which reads:
A. 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. A violation of this subsection is a crime of the second degree if it occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. The actor shall be strictly liable upon proof that the crime occurred, in fact, during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. It shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that there was a declared period of emergency at the time the crime occurred.
B. 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.
First Time Offender Terroristic Threats
As mentioned previously, a terroristic threat charge can be classified as a third or second-degree crime, depending on the circumstances of the specific case. If you have been charged with third-degree terroristic threats, there is a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders of terroristic threats, meaning that you may be considered a good candidate for probation or a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention.
On the other hand, if you are charged with second-degree terroristic threats, there is a presumption of incarceration, meaning that you may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment even if it is your first criminal offense. Second-degree charges entail a prison sentence ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison.
Regardless of the degree of the charges against you, the State must prove three essential components in order to satisfy its burden in a terroristic threats case.
These include the facts that:
- The defendant, indeed, made a threat;
- The threat involved the imminent commission of a violent offense;
- The threat was made with the purpose to terrorize the victim or the defendant acted with reckless disregard of the risk that the victim(s) would react in this manner.
With highly knowledgeable attorneys on your side, you can successfully undermine one or more of the above requirements. Contact the attorneys at Breslow Law Offices to begin devising a strategy for challenging the State’s case against you. For a free consultation call 973-239-8000.