A man in Polk County faces felony charges of making terroristic threats against a law enforcement officer after a DUI stop. According to reports, the man was pulled over by a law enforcement officer and began making threats and suggestions of violence toward the officer. As a result of this act, the man has been charged with making felony terroristic threats as well as the misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving too fast for conditions.
Each year, a surprising number of people in Georgia are charged with terroristic threats. Because the penalties associated with these offenses can be particularly serious, it is often a wise idea for people who are charged with terroristic threats to obtain the assistance of a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
What Constitutes Terroristic Threats in Georgia?
Laws in Georgia define terroristic threats as occurring when a person threatens to commit any type of violent crime, to release a hazardous substance, to burn any property to terrorize another, or to cause the evacuation of a building resulting in substantial public inconvenience.
To be convicted of terroristic threats, the state of Georgia must show that the accused person is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case of terroristic threats, the state of Georgia must establish that a threat was communicated to the victim with the intent to terrorize them.
A conviction of making terroristic threats can lead to a person facing either misdemeanor or felony charges. One of the differences between two charges is that a threat involving the death of a person is classified as a felony. If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor, the individual can end up facing one year in jail or $1,000 in fines. A person who is convicted of a felony can end up facing a maximum of five years in prison as well as fines of up to $1,000. The penalties will be more severe if a person made a threat with the intent to retaliate or harm someone that is a law enforcement officer, probation officer, prosecuting lawyer, or a judge connected to an offense committed by the person who made the threats.
What Constitute Terroristic Acts
Law in Georgia defines terroristic acts as offenses that occur when a person uses a burning or flaming cross to terrorize someone, shoots or throws an object at a motor vehicle while it is being operated, or releases any hazardous substance to terrorize someone.
Being convicted of a terroristic act requires prosecution to establish that the person who is accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In Georgia, terroristic acts are classified as a felony and can result in a person facing fines of up to $5,000 and a maximum of 10 years in prison. The penalties associated with the offenses can be made worse if the person who was terrorized suffered a serious injury.
Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
While terroristic threats can result in particularly serious penalties, there are fortunately a number of defenses that can be raised in response to these charges. If you are involved in a DUI where charges of terroristic threats also arose, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact Yeargan & Kert, LLC to schedule an initial free consultation.