In Pennsylvania, the crime of Terroristic Threats is committed when a person communicates, either directly or indirectly, a threat to:
- commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another;
- cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation; or
- otherwise cause serious public inconvenience, or cause terror or serious public inconvenience with reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.
This crime is generally graded as a misdemeanor of the first degree (M1) unless it causes evacuation or a breakdown of the public transportation system in which case it can be a felony of the third degree (F3).
It is important to note that Pennsylvania courts have been clear that a spontaneous threat made during an anger-inducing encounter is not necessarily a crime under this statute. The reasoning behind that exception being that a person may not have the intent to terrorize another but was instead only speaking out of anger.
If you have been charged with Terroristic Threats, it is important to contact our office today for your free consultation.