The law here in New Hampshire is set out in detail. RSA 631:4 provides that someone is guilty of criminal threatening if they make claims that they are going to hurt someone or otherwise come in contact with them physically. Criminal threatening also includes putting objects or graffiti on another person’s property with the intent to terrorize that person; terrorizing another person; or making threats that would lead to the evacuation of a building, public transportation, or other area that would cause significant public inconvenience.
The statute makes clear that criminal threatening essentially has three fundamental elements: 1) threatening to commit a crime, 2) against another person, 3) with the purpose of terrorizing that person. Under this law, the mental status of the person making the claim is not determinative; rather, what matters is whether the person against whom the claim is made believes he or she will be immediately hurt.
The most common type of criminal threatening is verbal. For example, if someone tells another person that he or she is going to kill or otherwise hurt that person, those statements may place the listener in imminent fear of harm. However, criminal threatening is not limited to the use of words alone. Criminal threatening charges could be filed against a person who shows a gun or knife to someone else. If the offender is holding one of these items in such a way that the person viewing it might think the offender would use it to hurt him or her, it may amount to criminal threatening. In that case, no words need to be spoken, the simple actions may be enough to warrant criminal threatening charges in NH.
Another example of non-verbal threatening includes graffiti. This may be a case in which someone spray paints threatening statements on another person’s car, home, or other personal property. It could also be a display of some type of threatening display left on someone’s porch. If the person on the receiving end of these actions feels threatened, it could lead to criminal threatening charges.
In criminal threatening cases the prosecution must show that the person being threatened felt they were in imminent danger. It must also be proven that the person charged with the threatening did so with intent to terrorize or cause fear.
Criminal threatening can happen between people who have known each other for years and are in a relationship, or it can happen between people who have never seen one another before. The nature of the relationship is not in question, but rather the actions of the offender.
The consequences for criminal threatening can be severe. A criminal threatening charge is often charged as a misdemeanor. However, if the offender makes claims that result in the evacuation of a building, public transportation, or otherwise cause serious public inconvenience, a charge may be elevated to a felony-level crime. Likewise, the offender would face felony charges if he uses a deadly weapon (such as a firearm, knife, or other such item known to be capable of producing serious bodily injury) in the course of his conduct.All of These Charges Could Lead to Fines, Jail Time, and Mandatory Counseling
If you have been charged with Criminal Threatening in NH, it is critical that you contact a NH Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal charges. The NH criminal lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. have the experience and the knowledge to mount the best possible defense on your behalf. We are here to help and can be reached on our Toll Free Helpline at 1-888-511-1010 or in NH at 603-624-3700.