Federal Defense Attorneys Fighting Terroristic Threat Charges
A terroristic threat doesn’t sound like your average, run-of-the-mill threat. Typically, we think of threats as harmful statements of intent, sometimes made with real conviction and other times only as a means of expressing anger or advancing a goal.
Of course, most threats are considered crimes. While the state recognizes that words alone are not the same as physical violence, people aren’t free to go around causing others to live in fear. Free speech enjoys Constitutional protection, but that protection ends when other people’s rights are infringed.
There are different kinds of threats, and each state punishes them a little differently. In Texas, prosecutors often turn to the terroristic threats statute to crack down on threatening conduct or language.
You might assume that any threat described as “terroristic” must be awfully sinister. After all, we’re used to hearing that term in connection with explosions, mass casualties, and national tragedies.
The truth, though, is that the terroristic threat statute applies to a much wider range of language and behavior than its name suggests. Indeed, it’s often used in cases which most of us would consider “ordinary threats” or even “harmless threats.”
That’s problematic, because a loaded term like “terroristic threats” can instantaneously ruin the reputation of those who are accused. In addition to the stiff penalties that accompany conviction, a terroristic threats case can impact job prospects, educational opportunities, and social status for years to come.
You don’t deserve to have your life upended over a trumped-up charge. Too often, that is exactly what happens in terroristic threat cases.
At Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP, we are determined to protect people who’ve been unfairly or unexpectedly charged with threat-related crimes and other serious offenses in Texas. We offer aggressive state and federal legal defense, and we have been successful in negotiating a dismissal for many of our clients’ cases. We’d like to fight for that goal in your case, too.
If you’ve been charged with a threat-making crime in Texas, please get in touch with the experienced federal terroristic threat lawyers at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP.
Defining Terroristic Threats in Texas
In Texas, terroristic threats are broadly defined. Examples of conduct that might trigger prosecution include:
- Actions, words, or writings that put another person in reasonable fear of serious and immediate bodily injury
- Threatening behavior that causes law enforcement or other emergency personnel to respond
- Causing someone else to fear for his or her immediate safety
If that sounds more like your understanding of an “ordinary threat,” you aren’t alone. Nevertheless, the state can and will seek terroristic threat charges in cases that allegedly fit the bill.
Penalties for Terroristic Threats in Texas
Threats are typically charged as misdemeanors in Texas. That can still mean unwanted consequences, so you should never ignore a criminal charge on the mistaken belief that it “isn’t a big deal.” Misdemeanors are always significant, especially those that stand to impact your reputation.
Some threats are escalated to felonies. The following are likely to be prosecuted as a felony-level terroristic threat:
- Threats that cause a group of people to fear for their safety
- Bomb threats
- Threats to a public utility or public transit service
- Threats to an elected official, public servant, or government office
Federal Terroristic Threats Charges
Contrary to popular belief, terroristic threat is typically a state crime. Federal charges are possible, though, especially in serious cases.
Any threat of actual terrorism, for example, is likely to trigger involvement from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and more.
Additionally, federal threat charges are likely if the threat is made against a federal official or involves any federal institution, service, or property. If the threat is communicated through the U.S. Postal Service or another federally protected communications channel, that might also trigger federal terroristic threats charges.
Federal criminal cases are inherently complicated. You deserve a legal team that has real experience in complex federal criminal trials. The federal terroristic threat lawyers at Oberheiden & McMurrey, LLP can help.
Questions About Threat Crimes in Texas? Call Us.
Threat-related criminal charges can be intimidating, confusing, and downright scary. We understand. We also realize that these cases aren’t always what they seem to be, and we want to help you.
We genuinely care about the people who we represent. We want the very best possible outcome in each case we accept, and that often means a dismissal of the charges.
Let us fight for you. Call our state & federal terroristic threat lawyers at 1-888-356-4634 or contact us online and ask for a free consultation today.