If you have been following the news, you may have read that the Mercer County Better Business Bureau was recently the victim of a bomb threat. A local business owner called the bureau, threatening to send a bomb to them if a certain customer’s complaint affected their rating. The bureau notified the local police department to which an investigation was opened. The business owner was arrested and charged with false public alarm and terroristic threats. The police have not released the name of the business but did state that it is located in Pennington, NJ.
New Jersey Terroristic Threat Laws
Terroristic threats are illegal in all states. However, each state has its own laws on what is considered a terroristic threat, and how a person is charged.
New Jersey defines terroristic threats as an action of threatening to commit a crime of violence with the intention of terrorizing a person or causing an evacuation of a building. Terroristic threats in New Jersey can be categorized as either second or third-degree.
Potential Legal Consequences of Terroristic Threats in New Jersey
Whether your charges are classified as second or third-degree will affect the legal outcome. A third-degree crime in New Jersey can lead to between 3-5 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.
Some cases may also lead to increased prison time or fines. For example, if the country or state is in a time of a national emergency, you may be charged with a second-degree crime. This can lead to between 5-10 years in prison and fines of $150,000.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Lawyer
If convicted with a terroristic threat, you could be required to spend time in jail. Even once you get out of jail, the criminal record can continue to have an impact on your life. You may find it difficult to maintain, or find employment. Depending on the charges, you may be prevented from owning a firearm, or voting.
While the U.S. legal system requires evidence to convict someone, only minimal evidence is required for a terroristic threat charge in New Jersey. The prosecutor only has to prove the element of a threat, which may include a threat of a physical injury, property damage, or toward a family member. The case described previously met this threat requirement.
How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
The threat must also cause fear. However, this can be subjective and the judge and prosecutor may argue that fear is a reasonable response. Finally, the third element is that the court must determine that the threat was legitimate and not an outburst of anger. A criminal defense lawyer can collect the details of your case and build your defense against these elements.
Even if your charges cannot be dropped, your lawyer may be able to negotiate a lesser sentence on your behalf. This could mean the difference between prison time and community service. Additionally, a lower sentence can mean a difference in your criminal record, which may be important for employment opportunities.
Contact an Experienced Trenton Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Terroristic Threat Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with making terroristic threats in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at The Davis Law Firm, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with terroristic threats in Hamilton, Trenton, East Windsor, West Windsor, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 498-7722 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 2653 Nottingham Way, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.