Have you ever uttered a threat to someone but didn’t mean it?
In Canada, it is a crime to utter a threat that results in another person’s fear for their life or property.
Section 264.1 of the Canadian Criminal Code is dedicated to the crime of uttering threats and consequences. If you knowingly utter, convey or cause any person to receive a threat, you may face charges. Some threats include:
- Causing death or bodily harm
- Destroy or damage to another person’s property
- Killing or injuring another person’s pet (or any animal that is their property)
The highest punishment you can receive for uttering threats is a prison sentence of five years. Other punishments can include fines or a shorter sentence, depending on the severity.
There are ways to protect yourself if the threat was uttered while intoxicated, as a joke, or without serious intent. However, you must still be cautious if the other person truly believes the intent or takes the threat seriously.
There are a number of defences that can be used if you have the right lawyer. If you suspect you are being charged with or may be found guilty of uttering threats, it is important to first contact a lawyer immediately.
If you are being investigated or feel that you are going to be charged with a crime, call or text 604-218-0840 for an appointment or fill out the free consultation form.