Uttering Threats Criminal Code: What to Do If Get Verbal Threats

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Do you know uttering threats criminal code? Well, uttering threats is considered as an offence and the law has taken it seriously. In moments of anger, saying “I’ll make you pay” or “I’ll kill you” could cost you a lot. This is not us saying but the Canadian law where a threat is one kind of assault.

An assault is not always a physical contact but also a brutal verbal act. If the threat makes the opponent fear their safety, it can become a serious crime. This article explains the definition to understand uttering threats criminal code. First, let’s start with the definition of the uttering threat.

Uttering Threats: When is It an Assault?

By definition, uttering a threat is expressing the intention of hurting others (by harming their property or the person). It is an act of intimidation intended to implant fear in the opposite person.

In other words, threatening a person means scaring them with verbal assaults.

According to Criminal Code 264.1 (1)

Everyone commits an offence who, in any manner, knowingly utters, conveys, or causes any person to receive a threat.

  1. To Cause Death or Bodily Harm to Any Person;
  2. To Burn, Destroy or Damage Real or Personal Property; or
  3. To Kill, Poison, or Injured An Animal or Bird That is the Property of Any Person.

But be sure that uttering threats is different from defamation and insult. Don’t be confused between threat, defamation, and insult.

Also Read: Difference Between Murders

  • Insult Doesn’t Contain Any Precise Fact of Harming One Like a Threat.
  • Defamation is An Offensive Word Containing the Accusation of a Specific Fact, Whether Illicit or Not.

This is a crucial point to remember when you need to prove the uttering threat in court.

Types of Threat: What Does 264.1 Criminal Code Say?

There are two main forms of threats, such as:

  1. Death Threat. In this case, the Author Threatens to Kill the Person.
  2. Threats of Crime or Misdemeanour. The Author Threatens the Execution of a Crime (bodily injury, for example) or an Offence Against the Person.

What are the Penalties for Uttering a Threat?

The penalties depend on the content of the person that made the threats. They also change depending on whether or not there are aggravating circumstances.

The Death Threat

This offence is punishable by law with a prison sentence of 2 years and a fine of $5,000. In addition, if the threat contains aggravating circumstances, such as a death threat because of the person’s religion, sexual orientation, or race, the perpetrator risks five years in prison.

Check This Too: Manslaughter vs Murder

The Threat of Crime or Misdemeanour

Like the death threat, it is an offence for which penalties can go up to 2 years of jail time and a $5,000 fine for the person who perpetrates it.

But what if it is a first offence for uttering threats? What will be happening in such cases?

Since anyone can accuse someone of uttering a threat, there are many first time offenders found, such as:

You must remember that even if you are a first-time offender, the law will not be kind to you. Just being accused can make you suffer in a stretch.

Even if you are found not guilty, the consequences of being accused are immense. So, we would recommend getting the best professional help you can get.

How to Prove Uttering Threats in the Court?

The two forms that we stated before are uttering threats. 264.1 criminal code determines three characteristics that can prove uttering threats.

Here is the list of these characteristics:

  • They Relate Only to Crime and Misdemeanours Against Persons
  • They Must be Explicit and Scare the Victim
  • The Investigator Must be Serious About the Threat.

Know More: Prosecutor vs Lawyer

What to Do When Someone Threatens You?

If you are the victim of a threat, you can file a complaint (even if you do not know the person who is trying to harm you).

Here is the list of the two types of procedures to follow, depending on the situation:

  • If You Know the Individual Who Made the Threats Against You, Use the Direct Citation to Go to Court Immediately.

In this kind of situation, an investigation is not necessary. However, you must have a solid file and sufficient supporting evidence. Otherwise, the procedure may not be successful. That is why you need a lawyer to put the odds on your side. The advantage is that it is an express and practical approach.

  • A complaint against X is to be registered if you do not know the author’s identity of the threats. You can also file a simple complaint with the public prosecutor by mail or police station. You can also apply for a civil action, which allows you to initiate legal proceedings to condemn the author of the threats.

FAQs: Uttering Threats Criminal Code

What is the Penalty for Threats in Canada?

According to the criminal code of Canada, uttering threats is a serious crime and can be punishable. Depending on the severity of the threat, one can have jail time for up to 5 years. Also, the fines may rise to $10,000. Also, if you have a previous record of doing the same, the punishment will be harsher.

Is Uttering Death Threats a Crime in Canada?

Yes, it is. In the Canadian criminal code, uttering or death threats is a criminal offence. As well, they are punishable to various extents depending on the act.

Is Uttering Threats a Serious Crime?

Uttering threats is a serious crime according to Canadian law. It can result in fines or even jail time.

Can I Go to Jail for Uttering Threats?

There is a severe possibility of jail for uttering threats to someone. And depending on the seriousness, it can go up to 3 years.

How Do You Prove Uttering Threats?

To prove it, you must prove that the other party was serious about the threat. Also, you must prove that the threat was reasonable and that you were fearful.

Is Verbal Assault a Crime in Canada?

The thing people mean by verbal assault is uttering threat. There is nothing called verbal assault; however, uttering threat is considered a severe crime.

Final Verdict

One should not take threats lightly, whether you are the target or the perpetrator. Sometimes the criminal penalties can be very severe as the judge’s decision often comes as a surprise.

However, as a victim of a threat, you have the right to file a complaint with tangible evidence. In any case, the assistance of a criminal lawyer in Canada remains your best asset as he understands the Uttering Threats Criminal Code best.