Consequences of Threatening a Police Officer or Agency
Recently, nine men were arrested in New York City for making threats against police officers. Some of the men phoned in threats, others posted threats online, and one man walked into a precinct office and harassed officers in person. 1 These threats followed the December 2014 shootings of NYPD officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. 2
Threatening a police officer could lead to severe consequences. In California, if you make a threat against a police officer, you could be charged with the following crimes:
- Resisting an executive officer (California Penal Code Section 69)
- Resisting arrest (California Penal Code Section 148(a)(1))
- Criminal threats (California Penal Code Section 422)
- Assault on a peace officer (California Penal Code Section 241(c))
Penalties for Making Threats to Police Officers
You could be charged with resisting an executive officer if you use a threat or violence to deter or prevent an officer from performing any duty or if you resist an officer by use of violence or fear. If you are convicted of resisting an executive officer under PC 69, you face up to 364 days in county jail, fines of up to $10,000 or both.
Under PC 148(a)(1), you could be charged with resisting arrest if you willfully resist, delay or obstruct any peace officer. This crime is punishable by up to 364 days in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
If you intentionally place another person in fear of being killed or seriously injured, you could be charged with criminal threats under PC 422. Criminal threats is a wobbler offense, meaning you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances of your case. A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, while a felony carries a punishment of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, a felony will count as a strike on your criminal record under California’s Three Strikes law.
You could be charged with assault on a peace officer under PC 241(c) if you threaten to cause physical harm to an officer and you have a present ability to cause said harm. Knowingly assaulting a public safety officer is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a maximum fine of up to $2,000.
Charged with Making Criminal Threats? Call Wallin & Klarich Now
If you or a loved one has been arrested for making an assault or criminal threat, you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have over 40 years of experience successfully representing our clients facing criminal charges.
We have offices located Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, and Victorville so that we can help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.
1. [CNN, December 30, 2014. NYPD: 9 arrested for allegedly posting, phoning in threats to officers. See
2. [CNN, December 20, 2014. 2 NYPD police officers ‘assassinated’; shooter dead. See http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/20/us/new-york-police-officers-shot/index.html.]↩