Texas Penal Code Section 22.07 outlines the offense of terroristic threat. In short, terroristic threats in Texas include any threat of violence to persons or property that is meant to frighten people, impair public affairs, or influence governmental activities.
The most common way this offense is charged is alleging that the offense took place under 22.07(a)(2). This is a threat that causes another person to be in fear of serious bodily injury – but notice that this allegation also requires that the fear was that the serious bodily injury would happen imminently. Therefore threats such as “I will F- you up next time I see you.” may not be deemed imminent. Similarly, a threat such as, “I am going to slap you.” will likely not be a Terroristic Threat because a slap is not likely to cause serious bodily injury.
“Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ. Some prosecutors may look for more than a broken bone, but not necessarily. For instance, if a person’s jaw was broken and they had their jaw wired shut for six months, that could be considered serious bodily injury in Texas.
The penalty for a terroristic threat depends on the classification of the threat. For example, in most cases, making a threat intended to prevent the use of a public building is a Class A misdemeanor and carries a penalty range of up to one year in a county jail and/or up to a $4000 fine. More serious classifications, such as making a threat with the intention to place a group of people in fear of imminent serious injury is a third-degree felony and an offender could face anywhere between two and 10 years of imprisonment and up to a $10,000 fine.
If you have been charged with terrorist threats in Fort Worth, retain a dedicated attorney today for legal assistance.