Utter Threats Lawyer Toronto
What Is Considered Uttering Threats?Offences that are construed as uttering threats are many as the definition provided by the Criminal Code of Canada is vague and open to interpretation. It’s good to note that uttering threats is considered a form of assault, which adds to the seriousness of facing such a charge. To understand what uttering threat charges entail, let’s take a look at Section 264.1 of the Criminal Code: Everyone commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys, or causes any person to receive a threat
- 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.
Potential Consequences of Being Convicted of Uttering ThreatsFor the Crown prosecution to successfully convict you of an uttering threats charge, they must prove that:
- you knowingly uttered threats to the alleged victim (face to face, through messages or someone else)
- you intended for the victim to receive the threats
- you intended the threats to create reasonable fear in the alleged victim
What Is the Sentence for Uttering Threats?According to the Criminal Code of Canada, the sentence imposed upon the finding of guilt depends on the type of threat. Threat to cause bodily harm or death:
- up to 5 years in prison for an indictable offence
- up to 18 months in jail or a $5,000 fine, or both for a crime punishable through summary conviction
- up to 2 years in prison for an indictable offence
- up to $5,000 in fines for an offence punishable through summary conviction
Can The Crown Withdraw Uttering Threats Charges?An uttering threat criminal charge is relatively hard to prove. Therefore, unless the prosecution has a reasonable chance of convicting you, they might consider withdrawing the charges against you. In most scenarios, the accused must participate and complete certain diversion programs, such as anger management classes, for the Crown to withdraw the charges. It’s good to note that once an uttering threats charge is laid against you, the police and the complainant have no power to withdraw the allegation. Even if the alleged victim withdraws the complaint, the Crown can still proceed with the prosecution. They can also subpoena the complainant to testify against you in Court. Only the Crown Attorneys have the power to get an uttering threats criminal charge withdrawn.
Possible Defence StrategiesMost threats are made in-person during arguments between spouses, neighbours, workmates, etc. This means that the evidence in such cases is the statement made by the complainant. In such scenarios, the case becomes a “he said/ she said” situation, making it challenging for the prosecution to prove their case and for the judge to reach a verdict. Therefore, you should never plead guilty as your lawyer can fight to have the charges withdrawn or reduced, or the consequences alleviated. Even in scenarios where the alleged threat was received through text, email, or mail, there are potential defence strategies that ensure the best possible results. To fight uttering threats charges, an experienced lawyer can focus on the context of the threat. In this defence strategy, the defence lawyer shows that a reasonable person, who was fully aware of the context in which the alleged threat was made, would not consider the words, gestures, or message to amount to a threat to cause bodily harm or death, destroy property, or injure an animal. If your lawyer successfully shows that a reasonable person couldn’t construe the said words or gestures as a threat, your case would fall apart, leading to an acquittal or a finding of not guilty. The above is just one of the many defence strategies available for uttering threats charges. As such, if you are facing an uttering threat charge, enlist the services of a criminal defence lawyer to review the allegation against you and devise a way to defend you. Zamani Law has years of experience defending persons charged with uttering threat offences in Ontario. We have the expertise and resources to fight the allegations against you and help you reach a favourable outcome. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys.
Contact Expert Uttering Threats Lawyers in TorontoIf you have been charged or are under investigation for threatening to cause bodily harm or death, destroy property, or injure an animal, call Zamani Law at (647)697-6954 or contact us through our free consultation form. Our team will fight for you throughout the entire process, from bail hearing to trial.
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