Uttering Threats Lawyer Winnipeg
When can I be Criminally Charged for Uttering Threats?
You can be criminally charged with uttering threats when you threaten:
- to cause death or bodily harm to any person;
- to burn, destroy or damage real or personal property; or
- to kill, poison or injure an animal or bird that is the property of any person.
A threat can be made in aloud, by gestures, or in writing over an email, text message or in a letter. The threats does not need to made directly to the victim in order for the accused to be guilty. The threat can be made to a third person, and intended victim doesn’t need to even be aware of the threat.
The Crown Attorney must also prove that the accused intended the threat to be taken seriously as to cause fear in the mind of the victim. It’s irrelevant whether or not the threat can be carried out, so long as it caused the victim to fear for their safety.
Obtaining Bail When Charged with Uttering Threats
The difficulty of obtaining bail varies depending on the background of the accused and the circumstances of the allegations. However, whether released by the police, the consent of a Crown Attorney, or by a judge, in almost all cases the condition will be imposed for the accused to have no contact or communication with the complainant.
When the charge arise in a domestic violence context, you may be able to speak with your spouse, girlfriend, or children. If you shared a home with the complainant, you will not be able to return to the residence. As the matter makes it way through the court system, this prolonged separation may cause significant emotional and financial strain to both you and your family.
I can assist you in having the no contact and communication order set aside. This can be achieved through negotiations with the Crown Attorney. If the Crown Attorney is unwilling to vary your conditions, we can make an application before the Court of Queen’s Bench to have a judge decide the issue.
Sentencing for Uttering Threats
If you are convicted of uttering threats, you can face up to five years in prison. In addition, the judge may place on probation for a period up to three years, order you to provide a sample of your DNA, and prohibit you from owning or possessing firearms.
A criminal record for uttering threats can affect:
• your ability to maintain or find employment;
• your ability to travel internationally, including to the United States;
• your social standing from the stigma of having a criminal record; and,
• immigration, permanent residence, and citizenship applications.
Defending Uttering Threats Charge
I will thoroughly review all the evidence collected by the police during their investigation to determine all possible available defences. While not exhaustive, during my review I will explore:
- whether the Crown can prove you were the person who uttered the threat;
- if in the context in which the threat was made, whether it was meant to be taken seriously; and,
- whether there are any reasonably credible or plausible alternative meaning of the words.
In many cases, I am able able to negotiate a resolution with the Crown to have the utter threat charge dropped. This may require the accused to enter into a peace bond. Other times, the accused may be required to surrender firearms or agreed to a firearms prohibition. Every case is different and unique. In order for us to determine what strategy is best for you, I will need meet with you and discuss your case.
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