Protecting those whose only crime is a spoken word
Most people realize that assaulting someone or purposely damaging someone else’s property is a crime. What many do not realize, however, is that simply threatening to perform those acts is also a serious criminal offense. Because of the broad definition of a threat of violence in Utah, a single poorly-thought-out comment can lead to a criminal record, substantial fines and, in some cases, jail time. If you have been accused of making threats, realize that these are serious charges and consult a Salt Lake City lawyer at Intermountain Legal today.
Making threats under Utah law
Under the Utah Criminal Code, it is a crime to threaten to commit an offense involving bodily injury, death or substantial property damage with intent to place a person in imminent fear. The threat need not be express — it may be implied — and the person making the threat need not have the present ability to carry it out. Making threats is a Class B misdemeanor, meaning it carries substantial fines and possible jail time. Moreover, the law requires a person convicted of this crime to reimburse the state or any private business or individual for whatever expenses were incurred in responding to the threat. Depending on the particular circumstances of the case, this amount can be far larger than the criminal fines imposed.
Despite the seriousness of this crime, it is fairly easy to inadvertently commit. Especially in the context of domestic disputes, where emotions runs high, one unwise comment can easily be construed as a threat. And as there is rarely any physical proof available or required for these types of charges and usually few witnesses, those falsely accused of making threats must be sure to take prompt steps to protect their rights by contacting a threat of violence lawyer in Utah.
There are many aspects of the criminal threats law that are subject to interpretation. This is why being represented by a threat of attorney can be so valuable. The intent element of the crime is an especially complicated area and is frequently an avenue that experienced attorneys use to dispute these charges. While the state does not need to prove that you intended to carry out the threat — or that you were even capable of doing so — it does need to prove that you intended for the threat to be taken seriously and to place the target in imminent fear of injury, death or substantial property damage.
Call Intermountain Legal for a free consultation about criminal threat charges
Threat of violence charges in Utah can be both complex and serious. But the principled and pragmatic attorneys at Intermountain Legal know what you are facing and can fight to protect you from trumped-up or false charges. We know the law and we know the process. Call our Salt Lake City office today at 801-990-4200 or contact us online to begin taking control of your legal troubles.
Intermountain Legal is located in Salt Lake City, UT and serves clients throughout all of Northern and Central Utah including Salt Lake City, Midvale, Sandy, West Jordan, North Salt Lake, Bountiful, South Jordan, Clearfield, Woods Cross, Draper, Farmington, Centerville, Layton, Ogden, Lehi, Provo, Orem, Park City and the counties of Davis, Salt Lake, Weber, Utah, Tooele and Summit.
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