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Sometimes it’s easy to forget how much weight our words carry. When someone makes a terroristic threat, it’s taken very seriously by the authorities, no matter what the actual intention was. It’s understandable because there have been many terroristic threats that actually led to the death of hundreds of people, especially within the past two decades. As such, any intimidations that can be considered terroristic will be pursued aggressively.
It’s important to work with a skilled defense team that can gather the facts and get the best outcome for your case. It’s not uncommon for a simple utterance of opinion to be exaggerated and misconstrued as a terroristic threat. It actually happens quite frequently. Your defense attorney’s job is to find out the true intention of the threat and convey it to the judge in the hope of getting your charges reduced or dropped.
Minnesota defined a terroristic threat as any of the following actions:
The first charge, threatening a violent act, has a broad definition. There’s a difference between saying you’re going to punch someone and saying you’re going to kill someone, but they’re both threats. In essence, a violent crime is any act that would cause substantial harm to another. Any threat intended to cause feelings of terror, whether against one person or a building full of people, will be considered a terroristic threat. For example, telling a neighbor you’re going to kill him or her for hitting your car can be considered a terroristic threat, even if you weren’t serious.
Penalties for terroristic threats vary depending on the severity of the charge, type of threat, and other factors. Generally, the charges will result in prison time between 1 and 5 years and fines of up to $10,000. However, Minnesota also allows for the increase of penalties by 50% when the terroristic threat indicated an intention to further terrorism. This means the threat was meant to:
A charge to further terrorism could make your five year sentence into an eight year sentence under Minnesota laws. As previously stated, terroristic threats are taken very seriously by the judicial system and often result in severe sentencing. Furthermore, having a terrorist charge on your record will stay with you for a long time and significantly impact your ability to get a job or find a place to live. Aside from an immediate seizure of any firearms you own, you’ll also lose your rights to own them and lose any professional licenses you have.
Because threats in general are so broadly defined, there are many instances where the allegations are exaggerated or completely false. That’s why it’s imperative to work with an experienced attorney who knows how to effectively convey the truth behind what actually occurred. The Knutson+Casey Law Firm in Mankato, Minnesota, is highly skilled in terroristic threat defense laws. We understand that many times, the words you say can be misconstrued or uttered in the heat of the moment. We have the time and resources necessary to dedicate to your case, and we’ll fight for your rights and your future. Contact us today to see how we can help you.