How to Beat Your Criminal Threats Case – Penal Code Section 422
If you're charged with the crime of criminal threats in Los Angeles county, obviously you're going to want to come up with a game plan on what you can do to win your case. This starts first and foremost with having a defense to your case. Defenses can range from saying that it's not me. I'm not the one who allegedly threatened this person. The person's lying about it. I didn't have the intent to threaten them.
There's a variety of different defenses that can take shape in a criminal threats case. It really kind of centers around the facts of the case and the circumstances of what happened. These type of cases are often related to a domestic violence incident.
A lot of times what I see in these criminal threat cases – or terrorist threats as they used to be called – is that the party that's claiming they've been threatened has done something wrong or unlawful to my client and then when my client responds to what they did and takes up for themselves and challenges the person, now the person is going to use the police, the prosecutors and the court system as a shield to be able to defend their bad behavior.
So, a lot of times in order to defend the case, we need to get my client's version across to the other side. Because many times the police do not give all the information related to the case and only give a one-sided story and now we have a situation where the prosecutors are only looking at part of the picture and don't have everything.
So, once we come up with a defense that makes sense and that can actually win the case, then we have to present that defense to the prosecution or the judge for that matter. So, then the next ingredient that's necessary in order to win your case in a criminal threat – Penal Code Section 422 case – is to have an attorney that can execute the plan that will win the case.
So, you have to have an attorney who is experienced and local to the court system that your case is pending in, who knows the players in that system, knows the jury pool and knows how to maneuver a case in that system. Also, you have to have an attorney who is knowledgeable on the subject matter of criminal threat, who has dealt with these cases before and had success. In other words, an attorney who's been down the path you're about to travel and had success. This is crucial in order to be able to get the result you need in a criminal threat case.
How do you Realistically Define a Win in a Criminal Threat Case?
Most people when it comes to thinking about winning their case in a criminal defense setting, think about getting a not guilty verdict in front of a jury or having the prosecutor dismiss the case after their attorney does the investigation and talks to them, or even having the case not filed at all once a good investigation is done and your side of the story is presented. Unfortunately, though this is not the norm when it comes to criminal defense.
When the prosecutors file these cases, they think they can win the case. They don't file a case unless they believe they've got evidence on it, because if they do file a case that they don't have evidence for, they're going to get beat, they're going to get embarrassed and they're going to waste tax-payor money and they don't like to do that, so typically they've got some evidence when it comes to filing a criminal threats case.
So, you have to define realistically what a win is for you. In other words, if they have the evidence – for example, they've got you on tape threatening to kill somebody – you've got a problem. Now, you can't come up with a defense to that. A lot of times you can't when they have it on tape and you've pretty much met all of the elements of the criminal defense jury instruction.
Now you have to come up with a different game plan. You have to figure out okay, what realistically is a win for me under these circumstances.
Reviewing Your Case to Obtain Best Possible Outcome
And that's where you have to be honest with your attorney, give them all the information, don't put a spin on things. Give them everything and let them help you decide what a realistic result is for you. A lot of times I sit down with my clients in these criminal threat cases and I say listen, here's what they've got, here's what you're telling me they have.
I've seen the evidence. What can we do here? What do you want realistically based on your circumstances? And once they tell me and we talk about it, then I tell them whether that's realistic and we come up with a game plan and I tell them what they can do to help me, and I tell them what I'm going to do to help them. Contact our criminal defense lawyers to review your case.
And a lot of times this gives them the peace of mind because now they have structure, now they start to get some control back in their criminal case and now they know what they can do to help. They know what they're looking at, and then we put in motion the plan to get the result or the goal that we have both agreed upon.