Legal Question in Criminal Law in California

verbal threats

what is the penalty for verbal threats?


Asked on 10/05/07, 2:18 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jay Leiderman Leiderman Devine LLP

Re: verbal threats

Penal Code section 422. Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

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Answered on 10/05/07, 2:45 pm


Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

Re: verbal threats

Depends upon the charges filed. Anywhere from a year in jail for simple violent threats, to a number of years in federal prison for terrorist threats by phone.

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Answered on 10/09/07, 12:57 pm

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