Threatening and Intimidation Law in Arizona
Who doesn’t remember the scene in The Godfather in which fictional Hollywood producer Jack Waltz found the head of his favorite horse in his bed? It was a graphic depiction of intimidation that remains indelibly imprinted in the minds of nearly everyone who saw the film. Although threatening and intimidation are typically associated with organized crime, loan sharking, and gangs, they are used in various other situations as well, including influencing members of a jury and frightening domestic violence victims into remaining silent about their abuse, or in retaliation for reporting a crime to authorities.
Legal Penalties for Threatening and Intimidation in Phoenix
In Arizona law, threatening or intending to intimidate another person is a serious crime, which depending on the nature and severity of the act is charged anywhere from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony. The Arizona Criminal Code makes it illegal to threaten or intimidate another either verbally or physically, to cause significant damage to another person’s property, to cause a public inconvenience (for example causing evacuation of a building with a bomb threat), or to injure someone for some reason related to a street gang or organized crime syndicate.
Injuring a person or damaging their property as a means of intimidation can be a class 1 misdemeanor; but if it is done in retaliation for their reporting criminal conduct, it can be charged as a class 6 felony.
If the threatening and intimidation is by a member of a street gang who is doing it to promote a gang or crime organization, it can be charged as a class 3 felony.
Threatening and Intimidating in the Context of a Domestic Violence Situation
Many times an accusation of threatening and intimidating will arise in the context of related to domestic violence. But in a significant number of these cases, there is no actual evidence independent of the accused and the accuser, making it a “he said, she said” situation. Nevertheless, the prosecutor may charge you based only on the alleged victim’s unsubstantiated claims.
Furthermore, in domestic violence cases, the “victim” will sometimes have second thoughts about the accusation, especially if it was made in the heat of an emotional exchange in anger, which later dissipates, and then recants the accusation. But prosecutors will often persist, even in the light of a recanted accusation by the domestic partner who admits to filing a false report in anger.
You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
Threatening and intimidating charges are taken seriously in Arizona’s criminal justice system. If you’ve been charged, you are risking jail time and a criminal record, in addition to the loss of your good reputation and more, especially if the accusation is related to domestic violence. This is a risk no one wants to take. Avoid a public defender, even if you qualify for one financially. They are so overworked, they can’t give your case the attention it deserves. Get the best private Phoenix criminal defense lawyer you can find for the best outcome and least disturbance of your life and freedom.
Help if You’ve Been Accused of Threatening and Intimidating in Arizona
If you are facing threatening and intimidating charges in Arizona, get the help you need by calling the law offices of Howard A. Snader, LLC, located in both Phoenix and Scottsdale. As a former prosecutor and Arizona Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, Howard knows the way the system works from the inside out, and puts that knowledge to work for the benefit of each of his clients. He understands that threatening and intimidating charges may be either subjective or completely false, and will examine questionable motivation on the part of your accuser. When your life and freedom are at risk, hire a specialist. Call Howard immediately if you’ve been questioned by police or arrested. Say nothing until he is at your side to protect your rights. Your initial consultation is without charge, and easy payment plans are available.