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Is Threatening Someone a Criminal Offense?

By Hager & Schwartz, P.A.

August 4, 2022

Tensions can rise quickly during an argument. Almost everyone has been angry and said something they regret. In situations where things get out of hand, can threats be considered criminal offenses?

When Threats Become a Crime

Technically, you could be charged with a crime for verbally threatening someone. Making threats is a form of assault. You could face criminal charges for assault if it can be proven that you made a threat of violence and had the ability or intent to see it through.

You may also face charges for written threats. Written threats could result in even more serious charges or penalties for cyberstalking, harassment, abuse, or even terrorism depending on the nature of the threat.

Defenses for Assault Charges After a Threat

There are many defense strategies available if you are charged for making a threat:

  • Not Going to Follow Through: Your defense could be that although you made a threat, you had no actual intent of following through.
  • No Means To Follow Through: You may also prove that you did not have any way to act on the threat you made, and therefore had no intention to actually cause harm.
  • Self-Defense: Many people face charges after acting in self-defense. You can prove that you did not start the incident that led to a threat being made.
  • Wrong Perception: Perhaps the alleged victim misunderstood what you said and no genuine threat was actually made.
  • Unreasonable Fear: Another common defense is that the victim’s fear of harm is not reasonable or justified based on the alleged threat.

Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense for Assault Charges

Many assault charges stem from misunderstanding, overreactions, or false claims. If you have recently been charged with this violent crime, contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. to get started on your defense. We will work diligently to help you obtain the best possible outcome for your case. You don’t have to face this charge alone.