It may be easier to get accused of making terroristic threats than you ever imagined. To get a better sense of what these charges mean, here are a few examples:
1. Threatening to commit violence to cause an evacuation
For instance, calling in a bomb threat to a local school could lead to charges, even though some people view this as nothing more than a prank. Even when the bomb never existed, and you did not have any intention of carrying out the plan, that type of call can lead to an arrest. It’s not just a prank.
2. Making a threat that causes serious public inconvenience
For example, perhaps the threat means that police have to shut down a nearby highway. Regardless of the outcome, that type of inconvenience impacts tens of thousands of people, and it can be viewed as akin to terrorism when it makes people fear for their lives and their safety.
3. Threatening property damage
People do not have to think they are specifically in danger for a threat to be viewed as a terroristic threat. It is also illegal to threaten to “burn or damage property.” The criminal code does not specify whether someone needs to be in that property at the time.
One thing to remember here is that empty threats, perhaps made in a moment of emotional turmoil, could qualify as terroristic threats. Perhaps you never considered yourself a criminal, and you didn’t mean what you said. You could still be in serious legal trouble and you must know what defense options you have.