San Diego’s Premier Domestic Violence Defense Firm

Words Can Result In A Criminal Record

Domestic disputes are messy. A simple argument between a husband and wife can result in heated words, regretful actions, and police at the front door. Once the police are called, those heated words can result in someone being charged with making criminal threats.

Criminal threats (Penal Code Section 422) can be charged when “any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person…” The statute continues on, but we will focus on what this means in the context of a domestic dispute. Typically, criminal threats will be charged as a result of things said in the heat of an argument such as “I’m so angry I could hit you” or “I want to punch you right now.” To prove criminal threats in court and achieve a conviction, the prosecution must be able to prove very specific elements of criminal intent. It is very difficult to prove that beyond a reasonable doubt.

As a former Prosecutor, there is not another charge in all of criminal law that covers the spectrum of being a very serious crime or a baseless allegation than criminal threats. Criminal Threats, which is codified in Penal Code 422, can be issued a Felony Strike Offense, with a maximum of up to three years in prison.  It can also be a misdemeanor; further, it can end up being a rejected/dismissed case.  This charge is very fact-specific.  When you are facing these charges, you want an experienced law firm with a track record of success advocating for you.  Contact Premier Domestic Violence Law Group at (858) 751-4384.  We have a proven approach forged by experience.

What Constitutes Penal Code 422 Criminal Threats?

PC 422 Criminal Threats is charged whenever the alleged victim makes the claim that the accused threatened them.  Penal Code section 422 demands that the government prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused, “willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement ….  is taken as a threat…”.  In other words, the government can use the unfortunate things couples say to each other during a fight to charge you with a crime. 

For example, people make conditional threats in an argument that does not constitute Criminal Threats PC 422.  A wife saying, “I will kill you if you are cheating on me”, may not hold up if it is taken with the facts.  Many people make statements they regret while in a fight.  They know these statements may have ended the relationship because they were so bad.  However, those words may not constitute a crime.

The Premier Domestic Violence Law Group is an experienced law firm in exactly these kinds of cases.  We know the courts, the court system, and the prosecutors.  Contact Premier Domestic Violence Law Group at 619-752-3702.

Why Charge Criminal Threats?

There is a reason that prosecutors will attempt to “throw the book at you” by filing multiple charges even though they are difficult to prove. It gives them leverage. That leverage can be used to get you to plead guilty to one or more of the offenses in exchange for dropping others. Premier Domestic Violence Law Group is lead by Mark Deniz, a former criminal prosecutor in San Diego who understands where they are coming from. He knows what the prosecutors are up to and can use that perspective to get the best possible outcome for you in your domestic violence cases.

We will proactively begin creating a mitigation packet designed to put a face to your case and make sure your side of the story is heard. Actions may include attending anger management classes or counseling. It may be possible to head off charges altogether or achieve a dismissal of criminal threats charges before a trial becomes necessary.

Tell Us Your Side Of The Story

You are innocent until proven guilty, and we want to hear your side of the story. Contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.