Many people are often surprised when they are charged with the criminal offence “uttering threats,” which is a form of criminal assault as defined in the Criminal Code of Canada. To be charged with this offence, one must intentionally and knowingly convey, express, or utter a threat directly or indirectly against another or a group of people.
The Crown must consider the context in which the threat was made, prior to formally charging one with this crime as follows:
- Was the threat made with intention to convey bodily injury or death?
- Was the threat made against a person’s property with the intention to damage, destroy or burn it?
- Was the threat made against a person’s pet or pet in their care with the intention to injure, poison, or kill the animal?
Keep in mind, the Crown only has to establish intent on at least one of the above to bring charges, regardless of the accused’s intent to actually follow through on the threat. In other words, if someone utters the threat they have the intention to kill another, even if they never act on the threat, they can still be charged.
Furthermore, the person uttering the threat does not have to make it directly against another or a group of people while they are present. To illustrate, you make the threat on your Facebook page, someone sees it, is concerned you could carry it out, and notifies the police to investigate.
Consequences of Being Found Guilty
Whether prosecuted as a summary conviction or by trail, there are maximum imprisonment periods which can range from eighteen months to up to five years. In addition, the offence will be recorded on your permanent criminal record.
If you have been charged with this criminal offence, you need to take it seriously and obtain sound legal advice from Toronto threats lawyer Rishma Gupta. There are several viable and potential defences to uttering threats, depending upon the nature and circumstances of your case. Schedule a case evaluation and consultation appointment now by calling Ms. Gupta today.