If you verbally threaten someone else – even if you have no intention of carrying through with that threat and causing bodily harm – you could face legal action in the State of Texas. If the threatened party chooses to take legal action against you, the charge is a Class C misdemeanor of assault by threat. If you are facing such charges, it is important to recognize that these are serious charges that can seriously affect your future and that working closely with an experienced criminal lawyer is your best defense.
What Constitutes a Threat in Texas?
What may just be a throwaway statement to one person can be taken as a serious threat by someone else. If your alleged threat meets any of the following criteria, you could be facing charges of assault by threat in Texas:
Your allegedly threatening statements made the other person reasonably fear bodily injury.
Your allegedly threatening statements made the other person reasonably fear for his or her life.
Your allegedly threatening statements made the other person fear that his or her private property was in danger of being damaged.
In other words, a threat amounts to a statement (or a physical action) that leaves the other person in reasonable fear that his or her own safety or personal property is in imminent danger of being seriously harmed.
The Threat’s Form
In Texas, a threat reaches the level of a criminal threat if it strikes fear in the victim and leaves him or her fearful for his or her own safety (or the safety of his or her property). Such threats can take many forms, including:
Verbal – You are alleged to have made threatening remarks to your accuser in his or her presence or over the phone.
Electronic – You are alleged to have threatened your accuser electronically through email, texts, direct messages, and/or via social media posts.
Written – You are alleged to have threatened your accuser in written form, such as via a written letter or note.
Threats can also come in the form of physical actions, but whatever form the threat is alleged to have taken, the consequences of a conviction are a serious matter.
The Threat’s Content
There are no hard and fast requirements for what constitutes a threat in Texas. In the end, any action or comment that leads another person to fear for his or her own safety may be deemed threatening behavior.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today
Being accused of assault by threat in Texas is a serious legal situation that can have important consequences for your future. Criminal lawyer Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, has extensive experience helping clients like you prevail against such charges, and he is committed to building your strongest case and helping you obtain a favorable resolution. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.