Criminal Threats Overview – California Penal Code Section 422

Over 30 Years Experience in Orange County

What You Need to Know About Criminal Threats

California Penal Code Section 422 makes it illegal for any person to willfully threaten to commit a crime which will result in death or serious bodily injury to another person. Such threats can be made verbally or in writing as long as the statements were intended to be taken as a threat. This is known as a “Criminal Threat,” which is a punishable crime even if there was no intent to actually carry out the threat. The crime may also be referred to as a Terrorist Threat.

A criminal threat occurs when the defendant’s statements are so specific and unequivocal that it actually causes the victim to reasonably fear for his or her own safety.

An immediate ability to carry out the threat is not required. For example, the defendant makes a statement to another stating, “I am going to kill you a month from now as soon as I get back from my vacation.” The defendant cannot claim that the threat made did not constitute a criminal threat because he lacked the ability to immediately act on his threat since he was away on vacation for a month.

Potential Consequences of Being Accused of Criminal Threats

A conviction for making a criminal threat may be punished by imprisonment for up to three years in state prison. A felony conviction may also result in a “strike” on your criminal record. See California Penal Code Section 667. In addition, you may lose your right to vote or own a gun.

Get Professional Help Now!

If you are accused of criminal threats, there are several defenses that your criminal threats attorney can raise. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, a skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to argue that the alleged threat does not meet the criteria of a criminal threat set forth in California Penal Code Section 422.

Call us today at 877-385-4938 for a free consultation. We will see to it that your rights are protected in a court of law, and that your innocence ultimately prevails.


Client Testimonials:

I became aware that my neighbor filed charges against me for alleged criminal threats. I cannot deny our relationship has never been good, but she really crossed the line this time. She made very strong allegations, and I was facing up to three years in jail.

I was devastated when I realized how serious this crime is. I contacted Wallin & Klarich seeking legal advice. They were understanding and extremely helpful. My attorney evaluated every single argument against me and managed to prove my innocence.

Thanks to my Wallin & Klarich attorney I do will not be punished due to these false accusations. Thank you Wallin & Klarich attorneys. I am indebted to you for life!

My 17-year-old son was taken into custody because one of his classmates accused him of making criminal threats against him. My son didn’t deny the accusations against him. As any parent can understand, I couldn’t bare to see my only child behind bars, so I searched for an attorney that could provide my son with outstanding representation.

My brother helped me screen the local law firms, and we both were impressed by the 30 years of experience that Wallin & Klarich has defending clients facing criminal threats charges. After speaking to one of their legal representatives, I decided to meet with them. I didn’t hesitate to retain Wallin & Klarich to represent my son against his charges. I knew he was in excellent hands.

Wallin & Klarich gained my trust, and they obtained the best possible results for my son, who is now back at home.

Thank you Wallin & Klarich attorneys.

I didn’t know the severity of “jokingly” threatening someone until I found myself facing serious charges for making “criminal threats” through an email. I didn’t mean to implement the threats. However, my coworker didn’t understand my sense of humor and filed a complaint against me.

I called Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation, and they answered all of my questions and provided me with the steps I needed to take to avoid imprisonment. I retained my Wallin & Klarich attorney, and I cannot describe how immensely thankful I am for his incredible representation. Thank you Wallin & Klarich for all your help!