Is Verbally Threatening Someone a Crime?
Police and prosecutors might consider verbally threatening someone a crime, depending on the circumstances and the laws of the jurisdiction in which it occurs.
Generally, threatening someone with physical harm or death is considered a form of assault and can be punishable by law. In some jurisdictions, threatening to harm someone's property or reputation may also be considered a crime.
The specific laws regarding verbal threats vary by country and state, so it is essential to familiarize yourself with the laws in your jurisdiction. Sometimes, the threat must be made in person or over the phone. In other cases, threats made through social media or other forms of electronic communication are considered criminal.
In addition to criminal charges, verbal threats may also be grounds for civil lawsuits, such as defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress.
It is important to note that simply expressing an opinion or making a statement that someone may find threatening is not necessarily a crime. For a threat to be considered criminal, it must be clear that the person making the threat intended to cause fear or harm and could carry out the threat.
Can You Get Arrested for a Verbal Threat in Washington?
Yes, you can get arrested for a verbal threat in Washington.
In the state of Washington, it is a crime to threaten someone with physical harm or death. This crime is known as assault and is punishable by law.
According to Washington state law (RCW 9A.36.011), a person is guilty of assault if they intentionally or recklessly cause bodily harm to another person or if they deliberately or recklessly cause another person to fear imminent bodily harm.
Threatening someone with physical harm or death can be considered assault, even if you did not carry out the threat. For example, if someone threatens to punch another person but does not follow through with the threat, they can still be charged with assault.
If you have been charged with assault in Washington, you must seek legal advice as soon as possible. A criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your rights and options and represent you in court if necessary.
How Can a Criminal Defense Attorney Help?
If you have been arrested for verbally threatening someone, a criminal defense lawyer can help you in several ways:
Advise you of your rights: Your lawyer will explain your rights, the charges against you, and the possible penalties if convicted.
Negotiating with the prosecution: Your lawyer may be able to negotiate with the prosecution to have the charges against you reduced or dropped or to reach a plea bargain.
Defending you in court: If your case goes to trial, your lawyer will represent you and present a defense on your behalf. This may include questioning witnesses, presenting evidence, and making legal arguments.
Advising you on the best course of action: Your lawyer will advise you on the best course of action based on the specific circumstances of your case and your goals.
It is important to remember that every case is different, and the specific role that a criminal defense lawyer can play will depend on the specific facts of your case. It is always a good idea to consult with a lawyer if you have been arrested or charged with any crime.
Contact our Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers
If you have been arrested for verbally threatening another person in Washington, you must seek help from a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Lewis & Laws, our Seattle criminal defense attorneys can fight aggressively to protect your rights and future throughout the criminal justice process.
At Lewis & Laws, PLLC, we have defended clients in Seattle, Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, and throughout Washington. Contact us today at 206.209.0608 or fill out our confidential contact form. Call us today!