So if someone you don't know is coming into your house or attempting to come into your house, and you say "stop or I'll shoot", or they're in your house and you say "take one more step and I'll shoot you", technically that would be considered a criminal threat - right?? why or why not?? Is there some distinction in the law when you make such statements in self-defense??On the flip side, if you say to someone, "If you testify in court, I'm going to hurt you and your family", would probably be classified as a criminal threat (apart from other criminal charges) - right?? Attorney Anthony Roach said it best below. It is clearly stated in the first sentence of the statute. "Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person..." The threat has to be to commit a crime. Self defense is not a crime. Witness intimidation is a crime. That's the difference.
The answer is in the code section itself. "Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which
will result in death or great bodily injury to another person..." The threat has to be to commit a crime. Self defense is not crime. Witness intimidation is a crime. That's the difference.
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This sounds like a homework assignment or a hypothetical question, but I can't ever envision the statements you mention being alleged as a criminal threat under the circumstances you describe.
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney--Former Prosecutor--20 years experience.
Consult with a criminal defense attorney in your state for some guidance in this area.
Neither of those statements would qualify as a 422 because the penal code requires very specific elements. The one element that both of your examples fails (among others) is that the threat must be unconditional....therefore, telling someone that IF they don't do something, you will hurt them, that is not a 422.
It's not a criminal threat because it is conditional language. It's not actually a threat because you have a right to announce that you will defend yourself if threatened.
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Will depend on what the victim claims and what the suspect says to the police. If the suspect doesn't talk then it increases the likelihood of no charges filed. If the suspect talks then it goes into the content of what the victim claims. I've never heard of a statement being used as an affirmative defense so give me an example.
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Penal COde 422 requires that the threat be interpreted as a threat by a reasonable person and that the maker of the threat intended the person who it was directed to , to hear the threat. There must be some immediacy that the threat would be carried out.
If you were defending yourself from an intruder in your home and used the threat as a means to defend yourself, that is not a violation of PC422. Why? Because it would be reasonable to make such a threat to protect yourself from the harm that a burglar potentially poses. However, I noticed that you didn't mention whether it was a police officer or law enforcement agent. Under that circumstance, my answer might be different so please provide more facts.
Taking the next step involves hiring counsel. Sounds like you're trying to litigate this yourself. The old adage is that "a person who represents himself has a fool for a client" applies here. Even attorneys who attempt to represent themselves end up in trouble. Being too close to the problem creates an inherent conflict. Best.
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Neither of these statements would qualify as a "criminal threat." The "threat" must be unconditional & unlawful. In the situation(s) you described, the statements were conditioned on someone's behavior. Further, the "threats" were not unlawful because they were made out of self-defense. If you or someone you know has been charged with a PC 422 I would suggest retaining counsel to look review the facts alleged in the police report or any other document.
the answer is to part 2 is much easier - yes threatening someone against testifying is a very very serious crime. don't do it.
the first part is more cpmplicated, but in essence - you can defend your home against intruders, and this would not be a crime if there was some indication the intruder was going to do you or your family some harm.
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