Call Attorney Joshua London If You Are Facing Charges of Making Terroristic Threats in Minnesota!
Under Minnesota Statutes 609.713, it is an offense to make or utter terroristic threats against another person. The offense is committed when a person “threatens, directly or indirectly, to commit any crime of violence with purpose to terrorize another … or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror…”
Terroristic threats are taken as a serious offense in Minnesota and may be prosecuted as a felony. A person convicted for the offense may be facing a jail term up to five years and/or a fine up to $10,000.
The Minnesota statutes define three offenses that may be punished under the state’s terroristic threat laws. These include:
- Making a terroristic threat: This offense is committed when a person threatens another with the commission of a violent crime in order to terrorize that person or in reckless disregard of the extreme fear that may result. This may include instances such as threatening to kill a person or cause them severe injury.
- Communicating a bomb threat: When a person threatens another with a bomb or tells them about a bomb threat at any place, whether true or false, they commit an offense. This may attract a jail term of up to 3 years or a fine of $3,000 or both.
- Displaying a replica or BB gun: It is also an offense to display or brandish a replica or BB gun in a threatening manner. The is punishable with jail term of up to 1 year or a fine of up to $3,000 or both.
Proving a Terroristic Threat
There are specific requirements that must be satisfied in order to prove an offense under these laws. The prosecution is required to show that the defendant made the threat with:
- Specific intent to cause extreme fear in another person; or
- Reckless disregard as to the risk that extreme fear would result.
As a result, it is not in all circumstances where a terroristic threat was made that an offense is committed. It must also include at least one of these factors.
Transitory Anger and Other Defenses
There are several defenses that a Minnesota criminal law attorney may raise on behalf of a defendant charged with these offenses. This includes showing that there was no specific intent to cause fear in the victim.
It may also be argued that the context in which the threat was made disproves any intention or capacity to carry out the threat. In State v Balster, the Minnesota Court of Appeals explained that these offenses do not include a situation where there was a harmless expression of anger or frustration, also called “transitory anger”.
If you have been charged with any of these offenses, it is important to speak to a Minnesota criminal defense attorney at once.