422 PC Criminal Threat Wobbler
A criminal threat is defined in California Penal Code 422 as making a threat to commit a crime that would result in death or great bodily injury to another person. The threat can be made in any form whether verbally, in writing, through text, email, etc.
The crime is a “wobbler.” This means that the crime can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. A lot of what level of crime is charged will depend on certain factors, such as the county you’re being charged in, your criminal history, your conduct, and the seriousness of the threat alleged.
In practice, the prosecutors will usually charge a criminal threat as a felony. This gives them leverage to get a sexier looking conviction on their record.
For example, with a felony charge, you are usually required to post bail and may not have enough to post that bail and will take anything the prosecutor offers to get out of jail. The prosecutor will test how desperate you are to get out by offering you a get-out-of-jail offer but you have to plea guilty to a felony charge.
In this scenario, you will end up with a felony on your record for the rest of your life, and lose several constitutional rights, like the right to own a firearm.
It’s important to speak with a criminal defense attorney because you may have affirmative defenses that will get your case completely dismissed. I’ve been able to help my clients find affordable bail options and negotiate a non-felony plea bargain or get the case completely dismissed.
If you’re facing a criminal threat charge, call the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan | OC Legal Defense today at (714)248-DOAN(3626). I practice all over southern California and I can help you get your case dismissed. For more information, visit www.OCLegalDefense.com and read the Criminal Threat section.