What Is a Terroristic Threat Charge

What Is a Terroristic Threat Charge

Free speech is a fundamental principle deeply rooted in American legal tradition. It’s important to know that “free speech” doesn’t mean people can say whatever they want without any rules or consequences. If someone threatens to hurt someone or an organization, they can be charged with a crime under the Texas Penal Code.

Free speech is important, but it has limits and can lead to consequences if misused. People have the right to express their opinions and beliefs. However, it is important for them to be responsible and considerate of the well-being and safety of others.

Certain types of speech, such as threats of violence, can cause harm. Therefore, it is important to impose legal consequences for such speech in order to maintain a fair and safe society.

What is Terroristic Threat in Texas

The offense of making terroristic threats in Texas, it is necessary to reference Section 22.07 of the Texas Penal Code. According to this section, an individual commits the crime of terroristic threat if they make a threat to engage in any violent act against a person or property with the intention to:

  • Elicit a response of any kind from an official or volunteer agency established to handle emergencies.
  • Instill fear of immediate and severe bodily harm in another person.
  • Hinder or prevent the use or occupation of a building, room, public gathering place, publicly accessible location, workplace, aircraft, automobile, or any other means of transportation, as well as other public areas.
  • Cause disruption or interruption of public communication, public transportation, public water, gas, power supply, or any other public services.
  • Generate fear of serious bodily harm in the general public or a significant portion thereof.
  • Influence the conduct or operations of a federal government branch, state entity, or local government division.

Penalties for Terroristic Threats

The act of making terroristic threats in Texas carries significant penalties. If you are convicted of this crime in Texas, the punishment will be based on the severity of your actions.

Threatening to commit acts of terror is a minor crime. The punishment can be a fine of $2,000, up to 180 days in jail, or both. If a public servant is threatened or a building is evacuated, it is a third-degree felony. A third-degree felony conviction can lead to 2-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Additionally, if the threat involves a school, it is treated as a third-degree felony as well. If a person commits a wrongdoing, they may be sentenced to imprisonment for a period ranging from 2 to 10 years.

Additionally, they may also be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000. The penalties vary depending on the situation. The court determines appropriate punishments based on the severity of the crime.

Potential Criminal Defenses

In Texas, the prosecution must establish the element of specific intent beyond a reasonable doubt. This distinction is crucial when comparing assault by threat and terroristic threat charges. In Texas, if you threaten someone and they fear serious harm or death, you can be charged with assault.

Both terroristic threat charges and assault by threat charges can involve the same threatening statement. However, the key difference lies in the intent behind the threat made by the accused. If the alleged victim does not claim to fear serious bodily injury or death from the received threat, you can still face charges of terroristic threat if there are facts indicating your specific intent to cause such fear in the alleged victim.


Was the entire incident fabricated by the alleged victim? Were you in a different location when the supposed threat took place? A highly effective defense strategy involves gathering objective evidence to demonstrate that you were not present at the time and place claimed by the alleged victim where the terroristic threat was allegedly made.

Lack of Evidence

In a jury trial, the prosecutor must prove beyond a doubt that you intended to make a terroristic threat. To convict you, they need to establish your intention clearly. This means that even if a threat was indeed made, the prosecutor must demonstrate that you had the requisite intention to induce fear of serious bodily injury or death in the alleged victim.

Without this necessary intent, the crime of terroristic threat cannot be proven. However, it is important to note that if the alleged victim provides details convincing enough to persuade a detective that they were genuinely afraid of serious bodily harm or death, you could still face an assault charge under Texas criminal law.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

If you are facing criminal charges, it is highly recommended that you seek the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. A hired criminal defense lawyer can provide you with essential legal advice, guidance, and representation throughout the legal process.

As an experienced criminal defense attorney we can review the facts of your criminal case, investigate the charges against you. And develop a strong legal defense strategy tailored to your specific situation. As well as negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf and advocate for your rights and interests in court.

In addition, we can provide you with information about the potential indecent exposure consequences of a conviction. Including the possibility of jail time, fines, and other penalties. And work to minimize the impact of the charges on your life and future.

Overall, the criminal law justice system can be complex and scary. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can significantly improve the outcome of your case. Your lawyer can help you comprehend the legal process, outline your choices, and provide advice and support. They can also help you review any evidence gathered against you, prepare witness statements, and investigate any mitigating circumstances.