Criminal Threats (PC 422):
‘Criminal threats’ is the crime of putting someone in fear. California Penal Code 422 PC defines the crime of “criminal threats” as the act of threatening to kill or physically harm someone and that person is placed in a state of reasonable fear for his/her safety, the threat is specific, and it is communicated verbally, in writing, or via an electronic source. Whether or not you have the ability to carry out the threat, you can still be charged under PC 422 even if you never followed through with the threat. For example, threatening to shoot someone while holding a gun is considered a crime under PC 422.
Penalties (PC 422):
Penal Code 422 PC is a wobbler, meaning the prosecutors have the discretion as to file it as either a misdemeanor or felony. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you may face up to one year in county jail. If convicted of a felony, you may face up to 4 years in the California state prison. The presence of a dangerous or deadly weapon increases your sentence 1 year. A criminal threat conviction is also a “strike” under California’s three strikes law.
Legal Defenses (PC 422):
Even if threats were made, there are specific defenses that our team of criminal defense attorneys can use in order to disprove that your actions violated California Penal Code 422 PC, Criminal Threats. Several examples of defense include: If the threat was vague or ambiguous, if the recipient of the threat could not have been reasonably fearful of his/her safety or was not actually in fear, or if you made the threat via a threatening gesture rather than verbally, electronically, or in writing.