Uttering Threats Canada
Uttering a threat charge can arise out of a conflict between individuals, a domestic partner, etc. If any person threatens someone either in person or via social media or text message or any other mode of communication, they can be charged with committing the offence of uttering threats.
The crown attorney must prove that the accused knowingly uttered the threat. The Crown does not need to prove that the accused intended to carry out the threat. In some cases, even silence can amount to a threat if it is accompanied by some behaviour, which makes the victim reasonably believe that the silent person is conveying a threat. An example of this kind of threat would be making a gun pointing gesture at someone with context. The test for whether an utterance constituted a threat is a question of law, not fact.
What is the penalty for uttering threats in Canada?
An individual convicted of uttering threats charges can face serious consequences including criminal record, fines and jail time. Although first-time offenders are unlikely to receive a jail sentence, repeat offenders may face jail time along with other collateral consequences.
If you are facing criminal charges, including uttering threats, it is important to hire a lawyer who primarily practices criminal law and can provide you with strong legal representation. A criminal defence lawyer will give your case careful consideration so that all possible defences may be explored and presented on your behalf.
If you have been accused of uttering threats, it is important to remember that you have the right to remain silent and should contact a criminal lawyer immediately. Do not speak to anyone, including the police, without first consulting with an experienced criminal defence lawyer. Many defence lawyers offer a free consultation.
Will the criminal offence resolve by way of a peace bond?
A peace bond is a criminal court order that is available to people who fear for their safety or personal property. It can help protect someone from further criminal conduct and violence by an individual.
Whether or not an uttering threats charge will be resolved through a peace bond is determined by the specifics of the case and the accused. If the Crown believes a peace bond is an appropriate remedy, they will likely want to see some sort of upfront therapy and/or community service.
It is important to seek legal advice if you are facing criminal charges, including those related to uttering threats and entering into a peace bond.
Can the complainant take back the charges?
If the complainant does not want to continue with the criminal proceedings, they can speak to the Crown prosecutor through victim services and convey their wishes. However, the decision to discontinue criminal proceedings is ultimately up to the Crown Attorney.
The crown will always consider the victim’s input; however, it is not a determinative factor. The Crown will weigh other factors such as the public interest and the strength of the evidence.
What are the defences to an uttering threat charge?
Often, the credibility of the complainant as to whether or not a threat was made is the key issue. At trial, the defence lawyer will cross-examiner the complainant to try and establish any inconsistencies in their evidence. The crown must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Reasonable doubt can be raised by a number of factors, including the seriousness of the threat and the context in which the threat was made. There are a number of defences available to an individual charged with uttering threats and it is important to speak with a criminal lawyer who can advise you on the best course of action. A lawyer will know how to present relevant evidence and arguments on your behalf so as to maximize your chances of a positive outcome.
A criminal lawyer will help you to understand the criminal process and what is required of you throughout your case so that you can make an informed decision about your best course of action.
What should I do if I am being investigated for uttering threats?
It is important to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible if you are being investigated and or charged with uttering threats. A criminal defence lawyer will be able to provide legal advice and guidance on how best to proceed throughout the criminal court process.
If the police are requesting to speak with you, it is important to contact a criminal lawyer prior to doing so. Everyone has a legal right to remain silent and you should exercise that right. Remember, the police are not on your side and anything you say to them can be used against you in court. Contact a lawyer for a free consultation.