Texas Laws on Verbal Threat

By WendyS
Texas, various laws, verbal threats

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Uttering threats is a crime in the state of Texas. In the heat of the moment, people say things they often regret later. In many states -- like Texas -- those regrets come with legal implications. Verbal assault is taken seriously by Texas law enforcement, especially in cases of domestic violence and where children are involved. Victims of verbal threats should contact their local law enforcement before the violence has a chance to escalate.

Imminent Threat

In the state of Texas, a threat has to be of imminent intent. For example, a domestic argument where one partner says they'll punch the other. A threat of that nature is considered a form of assault. It is called a "terroristic threat" and is covered by S. 22. of the Texas penal code. It is a Class B Misdemeanor. Class B Misdemeanors are punishable by fines up to $2,000 and/or jail time of up to 180 days.

Family Violence

In a family violence case, where there is a restraining order against a partner, threats are dealt with under Section 25.07 of the Texas Penal Code. If the restrained partner makes threats directly or through a conduit to the protected members of the family, it is a Class A Misdemeanor. However, if the person has previously been convicted of violence to the family or violated a court order by committing assault or stalking, it is treated as a third degree felony. Class A Misdemeanors are punishable by fines up to $4,000 and/or jail time of up to one year.

Disorderly Conduct

Behaving in a disorderly manner in public is a breach of the peace. Breaching the peace with threats and vulgarities in a public place is a Class C Misdemeanor. Class C Misdemeanors are punishable by fines up to $500 in Texas.

Threatening the President

Uttering threats against the President of the United States is a federal felony, Class D. An email with a negative comment like "I could just kill him!" may be intercepted and investigated federally. In 2010, a Dallas man was arrested for making a Craigslist post stating: "It is time for Obama to die." He was given a sentence of two years in prison.

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