Columbia Terroristic Threat Lawyer

The laws for terroristic threats in South Carolina differ substantially from those in other states. In South Carolina, terrorism must be motivated by terroristic goals while in other states, terroristic threads may be included in a credible threat of violence to a person.

Terroristic threats are a severe charge. It is a felony that carries a potential sentence of 25 years to life, which can increase to life imprisonment or the death penalty if their acts result in someone’s death. If you are facing these charges, you need the help of a Columbia terroristic threat lawyer. Our criminal defense attorneys could help gather evidence that proves your intentions were not to promote terror and work to reduce the charges you face.

Defining Terrorism

Under South Carolina Code § 16-23-715, terrorism involves the specific threat of terrorism. This statute prohibits the unlawful possession, use, threats to use, or attempts to possess or use a weapon of mass destruction. Securing a conviction on these charges also requires proof that these prohibited acts were done to further an act of terrorism. The law also prohibits conveying false information regarding the attempted use of a destructive device.

Terrorism is defined as using violence or fear to achieve political or ideological goals. So, terrorism is generally going to have broader implications than interpersonal disputes. For example, a person may threaten to use violence or a weapon against an individual for personal reasons. That would be illegal, but it would not fall under the umbrella of terrorism.

It becomes more complicated when personal and political ideologies overlap. For example, if someone’s ideology includes racist beliefs, and they threaten to use a weapon of mass destruction against a group of people of a different race, that would be an act of terrorism. Likewise, if a person is involved in a domestic violence dispute and threatens to target a group of people, it could still be terrorism.

These distinctions can be critical when planning a defense against terrorism-related charges. A Columbia attorney can review the facts of a terrorist threat case to help prepare an appropriate defense.

Verbal Violence and Terrorism

If a suspect makes a threat that does not rise to the terroristic level, it may still lead to criminal charges. The state criminalizes other threats under the label of verbal assault. Threatening to injure someone is third-degree assault and battery. The punishment for this charge is a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.

If a suspect threatens a public official or employee, there could be a penalty of a $5,000 fine and a jail sentence of up to five years. Protected public officials include teachers, principals, public officials, and their family members. Threatening a public employee or their family member has a potential penalty of a $500 fine and a jail sentence of up to 30 days.

There is an overlap between the verbal violence and terroristic threat statutes. Since the punishment for verbal violence is significantly lower than the punishment for terroristic threats, a lawyer in Columbia may be able to get charges reduced to a less severe crime.

Call a Columbia Terroristic Threat Attorney Today

Being charged with terroristic threats is extremely serious. Even if the threat was intended as a prank, any criminal charges for these actions could carry severe consequences. Potential penalties become more serious depending on how much evidence indicates that the threat was genuine. Call a Columbia terroristic threat lawyer today to discuss your rights and possible defenses to the charges you are facing.