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Terroristic Threats in New Jersey: A Zero Tolerance Policy

terroristic threats in New Jersey

When you hear the word terrorist, you likely picture sinister forces that impinge upon our national security. Further popularized by thrilling suspense novels and movies, terrorists have become synonymous with shadowy, menacing figures from foreign soil, threatening the U.S. on grounds of radical religious fervor. But actual terrorism is far more common, domestic and realistically scaled to suit everyday interactions, arguments and aggression. Curious about what qualifies as a terroristic threat? Wondering how it’s punished? Find out more about terroristic threats in New Jersey with Catanzaro Law!

New Jersey Terroristic Threats N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3; What Qualifies As A Terroristic Threat?

According to New Jersey statute 2C:12-3, the following actions qualify as terroristic threats, categorized as either 2nd or 3rd degree crimes, depending on the scenario:  

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 The Punishment For Terroristic Threats In New Jersey?

While many situations involving terroristic threats are difficult to prove, and often boil down to a cry wolf scenario, enough have resulted in disaster and death for it to be taken seriously. New Jersey doesn’t take any chances, and the punishments for legitimate terroristic threats, especially during times of national, state or county emergency, are grave. Those found guilty of terroristic threats as a 3rd degree crime can expect 3-5 years in prison and fines up to $15,000. If threats occurred during the aforementioned periods of emergency, perpetrators will be tried with 2nd degree felonies and sentenced to 5-10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000.

Critical Defense You Can Rely On

With Catanzaro Law, you can expect exemplary defense when combatting allegations of terroristic threats. Proof for this crime typically hinges on one word against another, so a good defense attorney can often beat the case entirely, clearing your name and safeguarding your future. Request a case evaluation today, and remember: for anyone considering terrorism, the state of New Jersey will deal with you mercilessly. That’s not a threat; it’s a promise.


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