With the recent turmoil across the country and the globe, local, state and federal authorities have been on high alert for terroristic activities. As of this writing, our nation has experienced shootings in Las Vegas, at a Colorado Wal-Mart and at a Baptist church here in Texas – all within a very short period of time. Understandably, law enforcement has every intention of enforcing the law to bring perpetrators to justice. Here in Texas, terroristic threat is covered under Section 22.07 of the Texas Penal Code. Under Sec. 22.07(a), a person commits the offense if he or she threatens to commit any offense of violence towards any person or property with the intention of:
- Causing a reaction to the threat by an official or volunteer agency that’s supposed to deal with such emergencies;
- Place any individual in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
- Interrupt or prevent the use or occupation of any room, building public place, place of employment, etc.;
- Interrupt or impair public communications, transportation, communications, or utilities; or
- Place a substantial-sized group or the public in fear of serious bodily injury.
Terroristic threats under Sec. 22.07 of the Texas Penal Code is a Class B misdemeanor, unless the offense is committed against a family member of a public servant. For example, if the offense was committed against a police officer or a family member, it would be a Class A misdemeanor. An offense under this section is also a Class A misdemeanor if it prevents or interrupts the occupation of a room, assembly place, or building that the public has access to. Lastly, it is a state jail felony if the actor causes a loss of $1,500 or more to the owner of the building or place which the offense took place.
- A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by a fine not to exceed $2,000, or by up to 180 days in jail, or by a fine and confinement.
- A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum fine of $4,000, or by up to one year in jail, or by jail and confinement.
- A state jail felony is punishably by a maximum fine of $10,000, or by up to 180 days in jail, or by jail and confinement.
To learn more about the penalties for misdemeanors and felonies in Texas, see Title 3, Chapter 12 of the Texas Penal Code.
Facing terroristic threat charges in Plano or Dallas? To speak with a top-rated defense team, contact us today!