New Jersey defines terroristic threats at N.J.S. 2C:12-3. That statute specifies two distinct ways in which a person can commit terroristic threats. The first way is to threaten to commit a crime of violence when the threat is made for any of various specific purposes. Those purposes are:
- To terrorize another;
- To cause evacuation of a building;
- To cause evacuation of a place of assembly;
- To cause evacuation of a facility of public transportaion;
- To otherwise cause serious public inconvenience.
Ordinarily, terroristic threats under this first way are a third degree crime. However, they becomes a second degree crime when they occur during a period of declared national, state, or county emergency. Failure to be aware of that declaration of emergency is not a defense.
The second way to commit terroristic threats in New Jersey is to threaten to kill someone. This threat must be for the purpose of putting the threatened individual in imminent fear of death. The threat must be made under circumstances where the victim reasonably believes that the threat will be carried out. This second way is always a third degree crime.
Allan Marain and Norman Epting, Jr. are New Jersey criminal defense lawyers. They have, between them, over sixty-five years experience. Each has successfully represented persons charged with terroristic threats. Each is available to review your specific charge or charges in a no-obligation conference. Each would welcome your call.