“Criminal threats,” also known as “terrorist threats,” is defined by Penal Code section 422 as:
- The defendant threatened to kill or physically harm another person,
- The defendant made the threat either orally, in writing, or by an electronic communication,
- The defendant intended that the threat be understood as a threat,
- The threat was clear, immediate, and unconditional,
- The threat actually caused the person to who it was made to be in sustained fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her immediate family.
The crime of making a criminal threat can be charged even if you did not have the ability to carry it out or did not intend on carrying it out. One of the key elements is that the threat caused the person to whom it was made to reasonably believe it could be carried out.