Threats to commit a crime is a crime in Massachusetts. It is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to six months in jail. Massachusetts General Laws chapter 275 section 2 defines threats.
In Massachusetts, threatening to commit a crime against someone or their property is a crime. The conviction requires four elements. They are:
- that you expressed an intent to cause injury to another or their property;
- And, you intended it to be conveyed to the target;
- Also, that the injury that was threatened would constitute a crime if it were carried out;
- And, that the circumstances under which it was made would reasonably cause the person to whom it was made to believe that you had both the intent and the ability to carry it out.
The victim does not have to prove they were actually in fear. All the prosecutor has to prove is that the victim reasonably could have been placed in fear. Also, the prosecutor does not need to prove the threat was actually communicated. They just need to prove you intended to communicate the threat. Also, the threat does not need to be carried out.
Legal Defense for Making Threats
There are legal defenses to threats cases in Massachusetts. The first amendment can be a defense. The first amendment protects the freedom of speech.
Intent to communicate the threat may be a defense in certain cases. The prosecutor must prove you intended to communicate the threat. Also, they must prove had the ability to carry it out. Another defense is to show the victim did not reasonably believe you had the ability to carry it out.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can help develop the best defense based on the facts of the case.
You face serious consequences if charged with making threats in Massachusetts. Also, there is a potential for six months in jail, fines, probation, and other consequences.
Massachusetts Criminal Lawyer
Massachusetts Criminal Attorney Patrick Donovan is a former prosecutor who has experience in over fifty Massachusetts courts. Also, as a Massachusetts criminal lawyer, Patrick Donovan uses the training and experience to get the possible outcome for each of his clients. If you or someone you know has been charged with any crime in Massachusetts contact Patrick Donovan today for a free no-obligation consultation.