Making threats is not the same as assaulting another person. If you have been charged with threatening in the first or second degree, take action. It is important to understand the true definition of this crime so that you can properly defend yourself against the charge. For more information on these crimes, read on.

Threatening in the First Degree

A person is guilty of threatening in the first degree in the State of Connecticut when such person:

  • Threatens to commit any crime involving the use of a hazardous substance with the intent to terrorize another person, to cause evacuation of a building or otherwise cause serious public inconvenience.
  • Hazardous substance is defined as any physical, chemical, biological or radiological substance that in a certain quantity can cause or contribute to an increased chance of death or serious illness.
  • Threatens to commit any crime of violence with the intent to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience.
  • Or commits threatening in the second degree and in the process he has/uses/or threatens to use a firearm.

Threatening in the Second Degree

A person is guilty of threatening in the second degree in the State of Connecticut when he or she:

  • By physical threat, intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury; or
  • Threatens to commit any crime of violence with the intent to terrorize another person or;
  • Threatens to commit such crime of violence in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror.

Fast Facts About Threatening in the Second Degree

  • True threats, such as a serious expression of intent to do harm, are not protected by the 1st amendment of the U.S. Constitution (141 Conn. App. 377)
  • The Courts have defined terror as, “words or acts meant to scare or to cause intense fear or apprehension in another person” (81 Conn. App. 248).
  • To be considered a true threat, there must be credible evidence that a person made a threat and the threat placed a victim in immediate fear of serious physical injury. (2013 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2417).

Penalties

Making threats in the first degree is considered a felony, while threatening in the second degree is a misdemeanor. As a result, you will receive greater penalties for committing threatening in the first degree than for committing threatening in the second degree. You can receive a prison sentence of 1-5 years for making threats in the first degree. Also, you could face a jail sentence of up to one year for threatening in the second degree. Please consult one of our attorneys to talk about receiving the minimum penalties.