If you’re facing a criminal charge of Threats of Violence (which was formerly known in Minnesota as Terroristic Threats), you must do everything in your power to ensure your case ends in a positive outcome. Otherwise, you could face serious consequences for years to come – trouble finding employment, renting housing, volunteering, and more. If you’re convicted of a felony, you will also lose the ability to vote and possess a firearm. These are all unpleasant consequences of a Threats of Violence conviction, but they can be avoided with the help of a Minnesota Threats of Violence defense attorney.
What is Considered “Threats of Violence” in Minnesota?
There are three actions that can be considered threats of violence in our state:
Threatening to commit any crime of violence with the intent to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, vehicle or facility of public transportation or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.
Communicating to another, with the intent to terrorize another or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror, that explosives or an explosive device, or any incendiary device is present at a named place or location, whether or not the same is in fact present.
Displaying, exhibiting, brandishing, or otherwise employing a replica firearm or a BB gun in a threatening manner and you caused or attempted to cause terror in another person or acted in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror.
Penalties for Threats of Violence Conviction
This charge is taken very seriously in Minnesota. If you are convicted of the charge “Threats of Violence” in the first degree, you will face up to five years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. Second-Degree Threats of Violence has the potential of three years in prison and up to a $3,000 fine. Finally, a Third-Degree Threats of Violence conviction comes with up to one year in prison and a $3,000 fine.
In addition, there are the secondary consequences of being convicted of a crime involving the potential for violence. An individual charged and convicted of this crime may be ostracized by their community, lose their job, and more.
How to Avoid Getting a Threats of Violence Conviction on Your Record
To avoid all the negative repercussions of a Threats of Violence conviction, you must work with an adept Minnesota Criminal Defense attorney who has experience with this type of case. You may be able to use one of several defenses to bring about a positive outcome for your case.
First, the context of the threat is vital. The prosecution needs to prove either intent or reckless disregard to secure your conviction, so it’s important to consider all the factors at play at the time the alleged threat was made – for example, what is the relationship between the parties? What consequences or effect did the exchange of words have on the victim? Was there alcohol involved?
Second, you may be able to successfully prove that the threats you made were in self-defense if another party had threatened you with assault. Your threats may have been effective in discouraging the other party from beginning a physical altercation; if so, make sure to mention this to your lawyer when discussing the case in detail.
If you’re facing a Threat of Violence charge, you can trust the experienced Minnesota lawyers at Sieben Edmunds Miller to advocate for you. We proudly serve the cities of Burnsville, Bloomington, Minneapolis, Woodbury, Eagan, Mendota Heights, St. Paul, Hastings, Hudson, and River Falls in Domestic Violence cases. We also serve surrounding cities in Dakota County and throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.