Texas Penal Code Section 22.07 defines the criminal offense of terroristic threats, which occurs when an individual threatens to commit an act of violence toward another person or property with the intent to:
· Cause a reaction of any type by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies
· Place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury
· Prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place
· Cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public, water, gas, or power supply or other public service
· Place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury
· Influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal, state, or local government
Making terroristic threats is generally a Class B misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class A misdemeanor if it is committed against a member of the person’s family or household or otherwise constitutes family violence, if it is committed against a public servant, or if it prevents or interrupts the occupation or use of a public space. Additionally, the offense is a state jail felony if committed against a person whom the perpetrator knows to be a peace officer or a judge or causes a pecuniary loss of more than $1,500 to the owner of the public place affected. If the offense involves one of the final three situations listed above, the offense is a third degree felony.
Terroristic threats don’t always involve terrorism; rather, the offense focuses on situations in which an individual creates a fear of violence causing serious bodily harm in another. For instance, a terroristic threat could occur if a high school student calls in a false bomb threat to his school. A terroristic threat might occur if a driver who has been pulled over by a police officer threatens to shoot him or her. Even a library customer who threatens to beat up a worker because he or she is being charged a fine can constitute a terroristic threat.
If you find yourself charged with making terroristic threats or any type of criminal offense, you need legal advice that only experienced criminal defense attorneys can offer you. The consequences of a criminal conviction can be serious, no matter what type of criminal charges you may be facing. As a result, you should immediately contact a skilled defense lawyer for help if you have been accused of a criminal offense. Peek & Toland provides strong legal representation on a regular basis for adults who are charged with various crimes. It is our priority is to represent your interests and protect your rights. Call us at (512) 474-4445 and schedule an appointment to speak with us today.