When facing an uttering threat charge in Canada, the best you can do is consult with an experienced criminal defence lawyer to take your legal case forward. There are two ways a skilled attorney can resolve your legal matter. They can either find a suitable pre-trial resolution to get your charges dropped to help you avoid a criminal record. They can also develop an effective defence strategy to defend your charges during trial successfully.
Getting Your Uttering Threat Charges Dropped Before Trial
Before we discuss some of the common defences your legal team can use in your case, let’s take a look at some pre-trial resolution and sentencing options that can help you avoid a criminal record. You can either sign a peace bond, enter a diversion program such as Alternative Measures Program AMP, or file an application for absolute or conditional discharge to withdraw your criminal charges. Each option comes with specific terms and conditions. Once you have fulfilled all the requirements, the court will order to remove your criminal charges.
Common Defences To An Uttering Threat Charge
The most appropriate defence against an uttering threat charge will depend on the incident’s context. Only a dedicated criminal lawyer will assess your legal matter in the best possible way and come up with the strongest defence for your legal case.
The following are some of the common defences your attorney can use when defending your uttering threat(s) charge in court:
Your Words, Gesture, Or Message Was Not A Real Threat
One of the most common defences to an uttering threat charge is to argue that a reasonable person would not perceive your utterance, gesture, or message as a threat. As the alleged threat context is vital to understand, a closer look at the circumstances could result in a reasonable observer’s indecisiveness to declare your (the accused) conduct, words, or message as a threat.
Suppose your criminal defence lawyer can prove that your gesture or utterance cannot be interpreted as a threat. In that case, they will invalidate one of the essential uttering threat offence’s elements. As a result, the court will find you not guilty or acquit you of your criminal charge.
Absence Of Required Mental Element Or Intent To Threaten Someone
Another effective defence against your uttering threat charge can include undermining your alleged offence’s mental element or mens rea. The Crown must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the intention to intimidate the complainant with your gesture, words, or message.
Here, it’s worth noting that the Crown Prosecutor doesn’t need to prove your mental intent or capacity to carry out the crime, but they will need to prove that you meant your action as a threat. You could also argue that you uttered the words jokingly and didn’t intend them to be taken seriously by the victim.
However, the Crown can still argue to your defence by demonstrating that the words uttered under the circumstances suggested that your intent was serious. The possible scenario could include a heated altercation or a severe verbal argument with the victim.
About Slaferek Callihoo
Slaferek Callihoo is an expert criminal defence law company in Edmonton, Alberta. Our highly skilled legal team will review your uttering threat charges thoroughly and offer the best course of action for your legal case. Visit our website to learn more about our experienced lawyers or contact us for expert legal guidance.