Arguments are going to happen and in the heat of the moment things may be said out of anger. The problem arises when these comments are taking seriously. If you or a loved one has been charged with terroristic threats in Somerset County it is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your options. Terroristic threats is a serious felony offense in New Jersey. If not handled properly, an individual could lose their freedom for up to five years. In addition, if the terroristic threats is between loved ones it can be considered an act of domestic violence. If that is the case, an individual charged criminally with terroristic threats could also end up being served with a temporary restraining order (TRO). That is a separate proceeding that will be handled in the Family Division of the Somerset County Superior Court. The consequences if a TRO becomes a Final Restraining Order (FRO) can be even more devastating than the criminal charges. For more information on restraining orders in Somerset County, please click the link.
Consult with a Somerville Attorney Today About Your Terroristic Threat Case
If you have been accused of terroristic threats, stalking, harassment, false imprisonment, kidnapping, sexual assault, aggravated assault or endangering the welfare of a child in Somerset County, the criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we are well aware of what a felony criminal conviction let alone a jail sentence can do to an individual’s future. As such, we will aggressively challenge the evidence presented against you in order to obtain a favorable resolution. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys about your options then please contact us at (908) 533-1064. Our attorneys have been appearing in courts throughout Somerset County including the Bedminster Municipal Court, the Somerville Municipal Court, the Raritan Municipal Court, the Bernards Municipal Court, the Bridgewater Municipal Court, the Somerset County Superior Court and the Bound Brook Municipal Court. You do not have to deal with these charges alone, let Keith Oliver Criminal Law help. Do not let a simple heat of the moment statement ruin your future. Now here is some key information on terroristic threats charges in New Jersey.
How Serious is a Terroristic Threats Charge in NJ?
Since terroristic threats is classified as either a second or third degree indictable offense in New Jersey the case cannot be heard in the local municipal court. All terroristic threats allegations must be transferred from the local municipal court to the Superior Court of the County where the incident happened. Clearly the stakes are higher when a case gets transferred to the Superior Court. The reality of a potential State Prison sentence becomes a lot more realistic when the case is heard in the Superior Court.
Elements For a Terroristic Threats Charge in NJ: NJSA 2C:12-3
Terroristic threats is governed by NJSA 2C:12-3 in New Jersey. It has been broken down into two different subsections. The first subsection of terroristic threats in essence covers a situation in which it is alleged that a Defendant threatened violence on another with the purpose to terrorize them. The second subsection of terroristic threats covers a situation in which a Defendant threatens to kill another. With that being said, this offense is not as cut and dry as it sounds. The threat is only one aspect of the statute that the prosecution will need to prove.
In order to be convicted of NJSA 2C:12-3a, the prosecution will need to prove the following elements:
- That the Defendant threatened to commit a crime of violence against another;
- The threat was made with the underlying purpose to:
- Terrorize another; or
- Cause an evacuation of a building; or
- Causes serious public inconvenience.
Before a Defendant can be convicted of NJSA 2C:12-3b, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- That the Defendant threatened to kill another person;
- The threat was made with the underlying purpose to put the person in imminent fear of death; &
- The threat was made under circumstances which reasonably caused the person to believe that the threat was likely to be carried out.
The phrase, “reasonably cause the person” is based on an objective standard. Basically, it will be viewed as did “the threat convey a fear of death to an ordinary person”. This aspect of the statute can prove to be problematic for the prosecution. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys about your options then please contact our office at (908)533-1064.
Can I Avoid Jail on a Terroristic Threats Charge in NJ?
Terroristic threats is a third degree felony offense in New Jersey. If convicted, the Defendant will be facing up to five (5) years in a State Prison, a fine up to $15,000, a felony criminal record, court ordered anger management, probation, a no victim contact order and community service. In addition, a Defendant may also be facing a temporary restraining order as well. Which is separate and apart from the underlying criminal charges. With that being said, depending on the underlying facts, a Defendant may be eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI). If the Defendant is accepted into the program and they successfully complete the program, the charges will be ultimately dismissed outright. For more information on this program, please contact our office at (908)533-1064.
Can Terroristic Threats Be Considered Domestic Violence?
If the alleged victim of the terroristic threats charge is considered a protected party pursuant to NJSA 2C:25-19(d), then offense would be classified as an act of domestic violence. If that occurs, the alleged victim would be entitled to a temporary restraining order if they desire. If a temporary restraining order is in fact imposed this would be separate and apart from the criminal case and would need to be litigated in a separate Court proceeding. In order for a temporary restraining order to become permanent, a final restraining order hearing must be conducted. At this hearing, it will be the alleged victim (plaintiff) burden to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the plaintiff was the victim of an act of domestic violence at the hands of the defendant and that a final order is necessary to protect them from future acts of domestic violence. Final restraining orders are not something to take lightly, long term effects of an FRO can be unforgiving. For more information on final restraining order hearings, please click the link.
What is the Bail Range for a Terroristic Threat Case in Somerset County
If the case falls under New Jersey’s Bail Reform Act then the individual will not be eligible to simple post a cash bail. If bail reform applies, that means that the individual was charged on a Complaint-Warrant. If that occurs, then the individual will spend at least 24 hours in the Somerset County Jail so that Pretrial Services can conduct their risk assessment. Once that assessment is done it will be used by the prosecution to determine whether they will consent to the individual release on conditions pending trial. If they seek to detain the individual and deny them bail, then a formal detention hearing must be conduct. For more information on detention hearings in Somerset County, including what the Judge will considered during the hearing, please click the link.
Looking to Speak to a Local Terroristic Threats Attorney in Hunterdon County
Terroristic threats charges normally arise out of a heat of the moment argument between loved ones, siblings or close friends. Do not let a heat of the moment argument ruin your future. If you have been arrested and charged with terroristic threats in Manville, North Plainfield, Watchung, South Bound Brook, Bernards, Raritan, Bridgewater or Hillsborough, the attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our criminal defense attorneys have been defending clients accused of terroristic threats, burglary, trespassing, harassment, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and stalking in courts throughout New Jersey, including Somerset County for years now. To schedule a free consultation today with one of our Somerset County criminal defense attorneys please contact our office at (908) 533-1064.