Living in a post 9/11 world, with the increased media attention that groups like al_Qaida and ISIS have received over the past decade, certain terms of expression have become part of our collective vocabulary. It may be said that the word that has gained the most traction is “terrorist.”
Combating terrorists has not only become an aspect of national foreign policy, it has also crept its way into federal and state laws.
The basis of a terroristic threat is that the accused issues a threat of violence against another with the intention to terrorize the victim. An example of this type of conduct would be a bomb threat. The caller phones in to a building and makes a threat to blow it up. The building is evacuated and the people inside are at the very least inconvenienced.
The crime of making a terroristic threat addresses the fear that the evacuated people would inevitably experience believing that they may be killed in an explosion. The person making the bomb threat has exhibited a reckless disregard for the terror he or she has imposed on the victims. The chaos that would surely ensue from such a terroristic threat may even cause injury in the panic to escape.
The law concerning terroristic threats is one makes criminal expressions about committing an act and not the act itself, and can be challenging to defend against. This post only addresses the topic at a high level, and should not be construed as a comprehensive examination of the law. If you are facing a criminal charge for making a terroristic threat, consulting a lawyer as soon as possible is beneficial to setting up a strong defense.