Terroristic Threats NJSA 2C:12-3

Cherry Hill NJ Terroristic Threats Attorney

Criminal and Restraining Order Defense Lawyers in Camden County, New Jersey

Terroristic Threats, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3, is an indictable criminal offense in New Jersey, also known as a felony. A person can be charged with terroristic threats for threatening to commit any type of violence against another, or to cause the evacuation of a public building or public place. In many cases involving terroristic threats, there are companion charges for offenses such as possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose. Terroristic threats is also commonly issued in the context of domestic abuse, in which case the person may face a criminal charge as well as a restraining order. If you have been charged with terroristic threats, there are grave consequences associated with a conviction, including a term in New Jersey State Prison.

William Fay is a highly experienced criminal and restraining order defense attorney who knows what it takes to get these charges dismissed. In fact, Mr. Fay is a former Deputy Attorney General who worked in the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. Mr. Fay defends clients in Haddonfield, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Mt. Ephraim, Oaklyn, Pennsauken and surrounding areas. For a free consultation about your case and to learn how you can beat your terroristic threats charges, contact our offices today at 609-832-3202 or use our online contact form.

What is NJ’s Terroristic Threats Law N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3?

According to New Jersey Statute 2C:12-3, there are several acts that constitute terroristic threats. Specifically, the law stipulates:

a. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to commit any crime of violence with the purpose to terrorize another or to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transportation, or otherwise to cause serious public inconvenience, or in reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience. A violation of this subsection is a crime of the second degree if it occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. The actor shall be strictly liable upon proof that the crime occurred, in fact, during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. It shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that there was a declared period of emergency at the time the crime occurred.

b. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he threatens to kill another with the purpose to put him in imminent fear of death under circumstances reasonably causing the victim to believe the immediacy of the threat and the likelihood that it will be carried out.

What is Considered a Terroristic Threat in New Jersey?

A growing crime trend in New Jersey and throughout the nation is the use of terror to torment another, exact revenge, or control a domestic partner or anyone else. Making terroristic threats to an individual, group, or crowd is an indictable crime in New Jersey. Terroristic threats are meant to scare those who are targeted with violence, causing them to flee from a public space to save their lives. A realistic threat to injure or end someone’s life can be a terrorist threat as well.

To be convicted of the crime, a person must have directed a threat to commit violence against another person with the intent to terrorize that individual or acted so recklessly as to cause another to fear for their life, whether the threat is communicated verbally, in writing, or through a third party. An actionable threat may be to physically harm someone or a person dear to them, or to harm another’s property. The threat must be immediate and able to be carried out, not a vague threat of future harm.

The threat must also be realistic in that it is reasonably perceived as a threat by the circumstances and words. So, if your wife says, “I could kill you for leaving the milk out all night,” you probably do not believe your life is in danger. Spoiled milk is not a serious enough event to warrant murder, and you trust your wife is just angry and using words carelessly. The threat must be serious and not just an angry expression to measure up to a terrorist threat and not a mere disorderly persons offense. However, if a stranger with a knife in their hand corners you in a dark alley and says, “I’m going to kill you,” you probably feel your life is in danger and so experience terror. The factual circumstances must show a promise of injury or death to support a charge of terrorist threat to kill someone, not an unsubstantiated claim, say, if the person threatening showed no evidence of a weapon or capability to harm anyone.

What Happens if you are Convicted of Terroristic Threats?

As stated above, terroristic threats is generally considered a third degree crime in New Jersey, which is a felony handled at the Superior Court in the county where the alleged offense occurred. For example, if you are arrested on a terroristic threats charge in Cherry Hill, your case will be heard and decided in the Camden County Superior Court, Criminal Division. If you are convicted of third degree terroristic threats, you face an NJ State Prison term of between 3 and 5 years. You will also have a felony conviction on your criminal record, which can present a serious problem when pursuing future job or education opportunities. On the other hand, if an act of terroristic threats occurs during a state of emergency, this is a second degree charge, even if you were unaware that the state of emergency had been declared. A second degree crime is punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years. Lastly, if you are facing a restraining order as well as a criminal charge for terroristic threats, this is a separate case that is handled in the Family Division of the Superior Court. If a permanent restraining order is placed in effect, you cannot have any contact with the victim or any of his or her friends or family. Violation of a restraining order is a fourth degree crime in New Jersey and is punishable by up to 18 months in jail.

Consult Winslow Terroristic Threats Lawyers to Discuss Your Case

If you or a loved one has been accused of terroristic threats or another act of domestic violence in Camden County or elsewhere in South Jersey, William Fay is the person you want on your side. His knowledge of the law, experience, and dedication to his clients is evidenced from the moment you contact his office. Call now to discuss your terroristic threats charge and protect your innocence: 609-832-3202. We represent clients in all Camden County towns and we are happy to schedule a free appointment at your convenience.


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