Utah Code 76-5-107.1: Threats Against Schools
1. As used in this section, “school” means a preschool or a public or private elementary or secondary school.
2. An individual is guilty of making a threat against a school if the individual threatens in person or via electronic means, either with real intent or as an intentional hoax, to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and:
a) threatens the use of a firearm or weapon or hoax weapon of mass destruction, as defined in Section 76-10-401;
b) acts with intent to:
I. disrupt the regular schedule of the school or influence or affect the conduct of students, employees, or the general public at the school;
II. prevent or interrupt the occupancy of the school or a portion of the school, or a facility or vehicle used by the school; or
III. intimidate or coerce students or employees of the school; or
c) causes an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies to take action due to the risk to the school or general public.
3. (a) A violation of Subsection (2)(a), (b)(i), or (b)(iii) is a class A misdemeanor. b) A violation of Subsection (2)(b)(ii) is a class B misdemeanor.
c) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is a class C misdemeanor.
4. Counseling for the minor and the minor’s family may be made available through state and local health department programs.
5. It is not a defense to this section that the individual did not attempt to carry out or was incapable of carrying out the threat.
6. In addition to any other penalty authorized by law, a court shall order an individual convicted of a violation of this section to pay restitution to any federal, state, or local unit of government, or any private business, organization, individual, or entity for expenses and losses incurred in responding to the threat, unless the court states on the record the reasons why the reimbursement would be inappropriate. Restitution ordered in the case of a minor adjudicated for a violation of this section shall be determined in accordance with Subsection 78A-6-117(j).
7. A violation of this section shall be reported to the local law enforcement agency. If the individual alleged to have violated this section is a minor, the minor may be referred to the juvenile court.
Terms Used In Utah Code 76-5-107.1
• Bodily injury: means physical pain, illness, or any impairment of physical condition.
• Conduct: means an act or omission.
• Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
• Offense: means a violation of any penal statute of this state.
• Person: means an individual, public or private corporation, government, partnership, or unincorporated association.
• Property: includes both real and personal property.
• Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
• State: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes a state, district, or territory of the United States.
Terroristic threatening in the second degree can mean conspiracy to commit crimes of murder or criminal mischief, or knowingly making a false report. It’s a class C felony, which means not only do these students face disciplinary action from school, but also face consequences from the law. At school, students face a wide range of consequences up to expulsion.
1. Threat assessment is intended to prevent violence and involves both assessment and intervention. Threat assessment involves determining whether a student poses a threat of violence (they have intent and means to carry out the threat).
2. A threat is an expression of intent to physically or sexually harm someone. This expression may be spoken, written, or gestured. Threats can be expressed directly or indirectly to the victim or to others, and threats may be explicit or implied. Threats sometimes, but rarely, actually involve guns or explosive devices.
3. A threat to harm others can be transient (i.e., expression of anger or frustration that can be quickly or easily resolved or substantive (i.e., serious intent to harm others that involves a detailed plan and means).
4. All school districts should develop and implement threat assessment procedures that are clearly communicated to staff and families. It is an alternative to zero tolerance policies, which have proven ineffective and counterproductive.
5. A school threat assessment is conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of trained professionals, including a school mental health professional, administrators and school resource officer or local law enforcement.
6. A threat assessment involves evaluation and classification of the threat (i.e., transient versus substantive) and appropriate response and intervention, including notification and involvement of parents and a written safety plan. It should include a suicide risk assessment as these students are often also suicidal.
7. There is no profile of a student who will cause harm. There is no easy formula or profile of risk factors that accurately determines whether a student is going to commit a violent act. The use of profiling increases the likelihood of misidentifying students who are thought to pose a threat.
8. Most students who pose a substantive threat indicate their intentions in some way. Examples include statements to friends, ideas in written work, drawings, and postings on social media that threaten harm.
9. It is important act quickly if you are concerned about a threat. Steps to take can include contacting the appropriate school administrator, the school crisis team leader, the school-employed mental health professional and/or local law enforcement immediately. It is their job to determine next steps, including potentially contacting named intended victim(s).
10. Threat assessment should be a component of a comprehensive approach maintaining a safe school, which offers a balance between physical and psychological safety.
Types of Threats
Threats can be classified into four different categories; direct, indirect, veiled, conditional.
• A direct threat identifies a specific target and is delivered in a straightforward, clear, and explicit manner.
• An indirect threat tends to be vague, unclear, and ambiguous. The plan, the intended victim, the motivation, and other aspects of the threat are masked or equivocal.
• A veiled threat is one that strongly implies but does not specifically threaten violence.
• A conditional threat is the type of threat often seen in extortion cases. It warns that a violent act will happen unless certain demands or terms are met.
What to Do If Someone Threatens You
Being seriously threatened with bodily harm is not only scary, it can be confusing. Whether you know the person making the threat or not, it may be difficult to assess when a threat requires you to take action to protect yourself. Also, credible threats can be made electronically through social media, which adds to the potential confusion. However, making threats, particularly threats of physical harm, is illegal, and aggressors could face criminal as well as civil consequences. Irrespective of the medium of the threat, if you believe the threat is real, serious, and/or the person threatening you has the ability to carry out the threat, you can call the police to report the threat. If you are unsure about the credibility of the threat, you can still report it to the police. If a threat occurs in real life, not online or electronically, then escaping the situation should be your first priority. After reaching safety, you can call the police to report the threat.
Criminal and Civil Remedies
Each state has their own criminal laws against making threats and harassment. If a threat is determined to be credible by the police, then they may be able to arrest the aggressor, who could then face criminal charges for making the threat. Although making threats is generally a misdemeanor offense, it is a serious offense and frequently results in jail time if a defendant is convicted. In addition to a civil lawsuit for monetary damages stemming from emotional distress or other losses, a victim can also pursue a civil harassment, or domestic violence, restraining order. A restraining order is a court order that authorizes law enforcement to arrest an aggressor named in the order merely for coming within a specific distance (such as 100 feet) of the protected individual.
If someone threatens to harm you, such as with violence, or via the destruction of property, if the threat is believable/credible, it’s criminal. Generally, law enforcement must determine whether a threat is credible before they take action. In the digital age we live in, this can be incredibly difficult given the vast amount of vitriol online. To be a credible threat, there needs to be some context that makes the victim, or a reasonable person in the victim’s shoes, believe the aggressor is serious and able to carry the threat out. However, in some cases, if credibility cannot be determined, a threatened can still be arrested.
Even though the Constitution guarantees the right of free speech, that right is not an absolute one. The law has long recognized specific limitations when it comes to speech, such as prohibitions against slander and libel. Even though the Constitution guarantees the right of free speech, that right is not an absolute one. The law has long recognized specific limitations when it comes to speech, such as prohibitions against slander and libel. In some situations, speech can even constitute a crime, such as in the case of criminal threats. A criminal threat, sometimes known as the terrorist threat, malicious harassment, or by other terms, occurs when someone threatens to kill or physically harm someone else.
A criminal threat involves one person threatening someone else with physical harm. The threat must be communicated in some way, though it doesn’t necessarily have to be verbal. A person can make a threat through email, text message, or even through non-verbal body language such as gestures or movements. However, some states require written or verbal threats, and in those states gestures are not enough.
Fear and Intent
Criminal threats are made with the intention to place someone in fear of injury or death. However, it isn’t necessary for a victim to actually experience fear or terror. Rather, it’s the intention of the person making the threat that matters. The intent of a person who makes threats is usually determined by the circumstances surrounding the case.
Specificity and Reasonableness
You cannot commit a criminal threat if the threat is vague or unreasonable. The threat must be capable of making the people who hear it feel as if they might be hurt, and conclude that the threat is credible, real, and imminent. If, for example, you threaten to blow up the world unless your bartender doesn’t bring your drink to you immediately, no reasonable person hearing it would believe the threat was real. On the other hand, if you walk into a store with a gun and threaten to shoot the clerk unless she gives you a refund, such a threat is credible and specific.
The crime of assault, in some states, is very similar to criminal threats. An assault occurs when a person either attempts to physically injure someone else, or uses threats of force accompanied by threatening actions. Words alone are usually not enough to commit an assault, and some sort of physical action is typically required. For example, threatening to punch someone is usually not an assault. However, making the threats and then approaching the person in a threatening manner does qualify as assault. So, the same conduct that is considered a criminal threat in one state may be classified as an assault in another.
A court can impose several possible penalties on someone who was convicted of making criminal threats. Depending on the state, a criminal threat can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony offense. While felony offenses are more serious than misdemeanors, either of them can result in incarceration, fines, and other penalties.
• Prison or jail: Anyone convicted of making a criminal threat faces a substantial time in jail or prison. A misdemeanor conviction can result in up to a year in county jail, while felony convictions can impose sentences of five years or more. In some instances, a terrorist threat can result in a sentence that lasts decades.
• Fines: The fine for making criminal threats also varies depending on the state and the circumstances of the case. A misdemeanor conviction might bring a fine of up to $1,000, though more is possible in some situations. Felony convictions can have fines that exceed $10,000.
• Probation: A court may sentence someone convicted of making criminal threats to probation. Probation typically lasts at least 12 months, during which time you must comply with specific probation conditions. Common conditions include maintaining employment, asking the court or your probation officer’s permission before you move or leave the state, and not committing any more crimes.
Speak to a Lawyer
Being charged with making a criminal threat is a very serious situation. You need to speak to a criminal defense lawyer any time you are charged with a crime, especially one as serious as making criminal threats. Laws differ significantly among states, though any conviction will impose significant consequences. You should never face a criminal charge without the assistance of a local criminal defense attorney who is experienced with the criminal justice system in your area. An area attorney who knows local courts and prosecutors, and who understands the legal requirements of the criminal threat laws in your state, is the only person qualified to give you advice about your case.
Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you’ve been charged with a crime, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506