Criminal Threat PC 422 (Penal Code 422)
Criminal Threat PC 422 (Penal Code 422)
Crime: Criminal Threat
Code Section: Penal Code 422 (click here to view the statute)
Related CALCRIM: 1300
PC 422 Brief Summary:
Penal Code 422 is an interesting charge that essentially criminalizes words alone. Penal Code 422 is charged in cases where a person makes a credible verbal or written threat to kill or injure someone else causing great bodily injury. Penal Code 422 also applies when the threat is made to a person’s immediate family. In both cases, the person who is threatened must believe the threat to be true and must be afraid of the threat. Prosecutors frequently charge Penal Code 422 in domestic violence cases. Penal Code 422 can be charged as a misdemeanor with a maximum exposure of up to a year in county jail, or it can be charged as a felony strike offense with up to three years in state prison. Penal Code 422 has one of the widest range of consequences in that it is one of the few strike charges that can be reduced all the way down to a misdemeanor.
PC 422 Elements:
To prove someone guilty of this crime, the government must prove:
- The defendant willfully threatened to unlawfully kill or injure someone (or a member of their immediate family) causing great bodily injury;
- The defendant made the threat orally, in writing, or by means of electronic communication;
- The defendant intended that their threat be understood as a threat;
- The threat was so clear, specific, immediate, and unconditional that it communicated to the person threatened that the threat would be carried out;
- The threat actually caused the person to be in sustained fear of their safety (or their immediate family’s safety).
PC 422 Punishment:
The punishment for a felony violation of Penal Code 422 is 16 months, two years, or three years in state prison. On the other hand, the maximum exposure as a misdemeanor is up to a year in county jail. In cases where a person has not been sentenced to prison, probation can be granted for this offense. A mandatory 52-week batterer’s treatment program is required if probation is granted and the crime was related to domestic violence. Other fines, fees, and possible probation terms could be applied. In felony cases, Penal Code 422 is a “strike” offense, meaning that a conviction can be used against you in the future to drastically increase your maximum exposure and potentially make you eligible for life in prison if you were convicted of a qualifying offense after having been previously convicted of two other prior strikes. “Strike” offenses can also be used against you in other ways.
PC 422 Lesser Included Offenses:
A lesser included offense is one that contains all of the elements of the charged offense, but for which the consequences are less severe. Typically, a conviction for a lesser included offense only occurs when there is no conviction for the more serious offense. An attempt is often times a lesser included offense to a charged offense and occurs when the defendant intended and tried to commit the charged offense, but for whatever reason, was unable to finish committing that crime. In general, there are no other lesser included offenses for Penal Code 422.
PC 422 Related Charges:
- Penal Code 136.1-Intimidating a Witness
- Penal Code 236-False Imprisonment
- Penal Code 242-Battery
- Penal Code 243(e)(1)-Domestic Battery
- Penal Code 245(a)(4)-Assault Likely to Produce GBI
- Penal Code 273.5(a)-Domestic Violence
Have You Or A Loved One Been Charged With a Crime?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, it is important to make sure that your rights (or those of your loved-one) are protected. Any criminal conviction can have a severe and far-reaching impact on a person’s future. Criminal convictions can result in expensive fines, orders to pay restitution to an alleged victim, restrictive probation terms, court-ordered classes, and can result in significant time behind bars. In short, a criminal conviction can have devastating and life-long consequences that impact and jeopardize every aspect of a person’s life from future job prospects, to family-life, to a person’s very freedom.
Criminal defense attorney and former Riverside County prosecutor Gregory Rollins uses his unique experience and expertise to defend the rights of the accused and provide meaningful legal advice to his clients. Every client is unique. Each client has different needs. No two cases are exactly the same. Attorney Rollins understands these things and is committed to seeking an outcome in each case that takes into account all of these factors. For every case, Attorney Rollins develops a unique legal strategy that incorporates the needs of the client with the best possible legal defenses to the crimes charges to secure the best possible outcome for every client in every case.
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