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A criminal threat is often referred as ‘terrorist threat’ in California even though the statute no longer uses this term to define the offense. The PC 422 in the California’s penal code addresses the offense of criminal threats. When a person threatens to kill, hurt or injure another person or his or her immediate family members, it is considered as a terrorist or criminal threat. But, criminal threat offense can also be charges if someone threatened a company, a building, a group of people, or employer.
According to PC 422(a), there are five elements of criminal threats that prosecutor must establish to prove an offense.
The person willfully threatened to unlawfully kill or unlawfully inflict great bodily injury on another person;
For example, a person has a parking dispute with his neighbor. The person leaves a note on the car of the neighbor threatening to kill him, injure him, or damage his car. The statement is clear and intends to intimidate the other person. It can be charged as a criminal offense under statute of criminal threat.
A group of friends is hanging out and one friend while intoxicated tells the other friend that he would punch him in the face or he would kill him. It cannot be charged as a criminal offense as the person did not have specific intent of threatening the other person but meant it only as a joke or light-hearted conversation.
Criminal threats, even if you did not intend to carry out the threat, can have serious consequences for you as a ‘wobbler’ crime. A ‘wobbler’ crime in the state is the one that can be charged as both a misdemeanor or a felony based on the seriousness of the crime and extent of damage.
When charged with the criminal threat offense, you are in row to strict penalties that are part of California’s penal code system. The penalties include
Misdemeanor: A convict of misdemeanor criminal threat can be sentenced to informal probation of at least one year, community service, physical labor, counseling, restitution (paying the victim), fines ($200 to $2,000), and “stay-away” orders, and up to one year of jail time in county jail.
Felony A felony of criminal threat can be fined up to $10, 000, up to five years imprisonment in state prison or even more in some cases, a strike under strike law, and it can become a permanent part of your criminal record.
Our lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Chesley have dealt with hundreds of cases of criminal threats involving difficult situations such as divorce, parking disputes, racial discrimination and so on. We have seen a fair share of cases in which the statute of criminal threats is only used as a trap against the person and does not have any reality to it. By adopting a methodical approach, we identify and find out the facts about the case and present them in the court, resulting in dismissal of charges or minimum punishment specifically avoiding jail time. Our approach to the criminal threat cases include,
As mentioned, many of the criminal defense charges are baseless with no content in it. We will pursue all available defenses and will prepare a strong and aggressive defense through our experience of court and legal system. Some of the common available defenses are,
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When a suspect is uncooperative, dismissive or verbally indignant, some officers take it personally. People who have committed no crime suddenly find themselves facing bogus criminal charges.
A criminal threat is often referred as ‘terrorist threat’ in California even though the statute no longer uses this term to define the offense.
Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!
Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!
Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.
Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!
Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!
Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!
Rodrigo L. San Fernando, CA (Sherman Oaks Yelp Review)
I am truly pleased with my experience with the Law Offices Of David S Chesley. They answered all my questions and provided me with great advice and legal services. My case resolved quickly. Thank you!
Ricardo Esteves Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Google Places Review)
I left court yesterday with my last case being wrapped up. Two court appearances and that's it. He represented me in a couple of different cases and was impressive to say the least. Always a phone call or text message away. Confident and aggressive when he needed to be. Calming and thorough when meeting with me. Attorney Chesley did exactly what he said he would and I got the results I needed. He seemed to know all the right people at the Temple Street courthouse. You can always get in contact with him quickly and he is a great lawyer. I highly recommend his legal services.
Erica Geller Ontario, CA (Ontario Facebook review)
My brother was given a very caring attorney that was assigned to his case and we had very helpful case managers throughout the process. I strongly recommend David Chesley to anyone who is in trouble. I called in to get help on my brothers case and right away I liked their service. My brothers charges were eventually dismissed after the attorney got him into a program, now he could go on without the trouble of having anything on his record
Elizabeth F. San Diego, CA (San Diego Google Places Review)
I retained Mr. Chesley and his firm and from the beginning they were extremely professional both in communicating the status of my case to me, explaining the situation as a whole, and just downright taking care of business. It was money well spent for a job well done. Thanks again to David and Melissa others that worked on my case. I recommend this firm to anyone in need of legal representation. Don’t just accept things the courts force on you, call this firm and protect yourself.
Leon Hanley Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Avvo review)
I contacted Mr. Chesley and his firm because some unfortunate events had left me in a jam. Detectives were demanding I testify or be prosecuted for a crime I didn’t commit. (I wasn’t involved or even at the scene of the alleged crime when it supposedly took place.) Mr. Chesley explained to me that he had been through similar situations with his clients before and understood exactly what was going on. His response to what took place was nothing short of amazing. No matter how small my concern, Mr. Chesley addressed it in a timely manner. He advocated for what is right and empathized with me in dealing with the Court system. After meeting with the supervising D.A. and providing alibi evidence he was able to get me out the situation. I’m very grateful to have found him.
Britanny Givens Newport Beach, CA (Newport Beach Google Places)
I hired David Chesley for my criminal defense in 2012. he was recommended to us for is success results and his low fees. David is very smart and his professional legal advice was honest & much appreciated during these stressful time. David's knowledge, advice, and communication about what we were to expect was reassuring and beneficial to me. He charged me a reasonable flat rate and didn't charge me any surprise fees. In my case David Chesley was able to negotiate with the prosecution attorney for the best result I could hope for. He had success at getting my criminal charges dismissed with the judges approval. You will not be disappointed if you hire The Law Offices of David S. Chesley.
Andrew A. North Hollywood, CA (Better Business Bureau review)
David is very professional, yet very casual. Although it is typically not easy to speak straight up with an attorney, he is very easy to talk to. He replied to my questions quickly and was available all hours. Not only did he get my case resolved with a dismissal, he went above and beyond and got me an expungement without me even requesting it. He never beats around the bush and tells you like it is. At the same time is willing to work overtime to get the results you request. I would use David's services again in the future.