New Jersey Terroristic Threats

terroristic threats overview

Terroristic threats in NJ can fall into one of the following:

(1) You threatened somebody.

(2) You threatened to commit a violent act.

(3) You threatened to commit a violent act to;

a. terrorize the other person, or cause the evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise cause serious public inconvenience: 

b. You acted with reckless disregard to terrorize the other person or cause such inconvenience: or

(4) You ou threatened to kill another person in such a way that the other person reasonably believed that you could kill them.

Our firm is devoted to representing clients charged with every type of crime. Whether you are facing assault charges, domestic violence, drug charges, sex crimes, theft charges, or violent crimes charges, we are here to help you. 

We are aggressive criminal defense attorneys who will work tirelessly to defend you throughout your criminal case.

Terroristic Threats Examples

What are some examples of terroristic threats?

  1. Our Hackensack client was driving to work, and another person cut him off in traffic. At the stoplight, our client pulled up next to the rude driver and stated, “Driver’s like you should get murdered“. The client got charged with terroristic threats.
  2. Another Bergen County client had a confrontation with his neighbor. The neighbor’s dog was pooping on our client’s lawn. Our client threatened to punch his neighbor. He said, “Next time I see your dog on my lawn, I’m going to rip your head off”. The client got charged with terroristic threats.
  3. An Essex County client posts derogatory comments about her ex-boyfriend on social media. The client got charged with terroristic threats.

Everyday people have disagreements with other people. Sometimes these disagreements became heated. In today’s world, especially with the growth of social media, more and more people are charged with making terroristic threats in New Jersey. Terroristic threats charges usually bring other charges. Common companion charges include assault, harassment, criminal mischief, and domestic violence.

 

Are terroristic threats a crime?

Yes. Terroristic threats in New Jersey are a third-degree felony. 

I can be charged with terroristic threats for speaking my mind?

Everything depends on the situation.

If you are found guilty of a third-degree terrorist threat charge, you will face 3 to 5 years in prison. However, there is a “presumption against incarceration”. This means that the court will not consider jail as a first option. The court will consider other penalties, such as probation.

On the other hand, if you are found guilty of a second-degree terrorist threat charge, you will face 5 to 10 years in prison. There is a “presumption for incarceration”. This means that the court will consider jail as a first option.

Again, everything depends on all the circumstances surrounding your case. At sentencing, the court will examine your criminal history. The court will listen to the arguments made by your defense counsel as to why you should not go to prison, or why you should be sentenced to less time than the prosecutor is requesting.

One of our Newark cases involved a client charged with terrorist threats. During a heated argument with his boss, our client made a threatening comment. At the end of the trial, the court found him guilty. Since he had a clean record, we successfully argued to have him admitted into the conditional dismissal program.

But I only said those things because I was angry!

We understand your frustration, but most prosecutors and judges see things differently. Even if you’re upset, you are still held responsible for your actions. Everyone’s case is different and facts make cases.

For example, in Jersey City, our client’s neighbor was having a loud party. Our client called his neighbor and stated, “If you don’t stop playing that loud music, I’m going to drop a bomb on your house!” Through plea negotiations, we persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss the charges. We argued that our client’s comment was sarcastic & stupid but did not rise to the level of a crime.

On the other hand, one of our Paterson clients walked over to his neighbor’s home, knocked on the door, and flashed his gun. The Passaic County prosecutor had a very strong case for terroristic threats & we were not able to get the charges dismissed.

A momentary bout of angry words is not necessarily a terroristic threat. Irrational threats are less likely to be considered terroristic threats than a threat that appears realistic. The court must find that the threat appeared real to a reasonable person.

Can I get charged with terroristic Threats for what i say online?

Yes.

New Jersey has a law specifically for “Cyberbullying”.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1, cyberbullying is a form of harassment. 

It is a fourth-degree crime or third-degree crime, depending on the circumstances

The law says that “Cyber-harassment” is when a person:

Makes a communication in an online capacity by any electronic device or through a social networking site; with the purpose to harass another; and the person:

(1) threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to any person or the property of any person;

(2) knowingly sends, posts, comments, requests, suggests, or proposes any lewd, indecent, or obscene material to or about a person with the intent to emotionally harm a reasonable person or place a reasonable person in fear of physical or emotional harm to his person; or

(3) threatens to commit any crime against the person or the person’s property.

So, if you make an online threat to harm a person, or a threat to harm the person’s property someone online, you could be charged with cyber-harassment. 

Or if you post or send lewd photographs of a person, with the intent to cause emotional pain, you may be charged with cyber-harassment.

Facing terroristic threats for talking trash online?

Let’s get a couple of things clear.

You have a sacred First Amendment Right of Freedom of Speech. No one is taking that away from you. Expressing your opinion of someone online is not necessarily illegal.

However, if you threaten to harm someone online, you may face terroristic threats charges.  It all depends on what you said, and why you said it. At trial, a court will examine all the facts surrounding your case.

Terroristic threats & other crimes

Terroristic threat charges usually come in “bundles”.

If you get these charges, you probably facing other offenses like Harassment, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Justice, Eluding, and Simple Assault.

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a Disorderly Persons offense, you face up to six months in jail and up to a one thousand dollar fine.

You must wait for five years from the date you completed your sentence before you can get an expungement

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a felony, you must wait many years to get your records expunged.

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us

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A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with a 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.