If you threaten to cause another person great bodily injury or death, you could be charged with making a criminal threat under California Penal Code Section 422.
You face serious penalties if you are convicted of making criminal threats, including potential prison time and expensive fines. Will you also face a strike on your criminal record under California’s Three Strikes law if you are convicted of making criminal threats?
Penalties for Criminal Threats (PC 422)
Making criminal threats is a “wobbler” offense in California, which means you could be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of your case. It will be up to the discretion of the prosecutors as to how you are charged.
If you are charged with misdemeanor criminal threats, you face up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 under PC 422.
A misdemeanor is not considered as serious as a felony crime. Thus, you will not receive a strike under the Three Strikes Law if you are convicted of misdemeanor criminal threats.
When is Criminal Threats a Strike Crime in California?
If your criminal threat is considered a serious or violent crime, or if you have a prior conviction for making criminal threats or a similar offense, you could face felony criminal threats charges. For example, if you were holding a gun while threatening to shoot someone, it is likely you will be charged with a felony for making criminal threats.
A felony criminal threats conviction carries up to three years in prison and fines of up to $10,000 under PC 422.
Additionally, felony criminal threats is considered a strikeable offense under the Three Strikes law. This means you will receive a strike on your record if you are convicted of a felony for making criminal threats. If you have one prior strike on your record, a second strike conviction could lead to your sentence being doubled. If you are convicted of a third strike, you face 25 years to life in prison.
What is the Three Strikes Law in California?
California’s Three Strikes law was designed to impose harsh consequences on people who are convicted of multiple serious or violent felony offenses.
Under the Three Strikes law, you are assessed one strike on your record if you are convicted of a “strikeable” offense, which includes serious and violent crimes. If you are then convicted of another strikeable offense, the penalties you face for that offense are more severe.
If you have one prior strike on your record and you are convicted of a second strikeable offense, your sentence could be doubled. If you have two prior strike convictions, you could face 25 years to life in prison if you are convicted of a third strike crime.
Speak to an Experienced Criminal Threats Attorney Today
If you are convicted of making criminal threats, you face serious consequences, including a strike on your criminal record. That is why you should speak to an experienced criminal threats attorney if you are accused of this crime.
At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers have more than 35 years of experience successfully defending our clients facing criminal threats charges. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal threats attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our office today at 4-N (877)O-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.