Terroristic Threats

Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code places restrictions and guidelines on the use of force by an individual acting outside of official State capacity.

“Terroristic Threat”, as per § 22.07 of the Texas Penal Code, occurs when an individually threatens to commit any offence involving violence to another person with intent to:

  1. cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
  1. place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
  1. prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place;
  1. cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
  1. place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
  1. influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.

Offenses under 1) and 2) are Class B misdemeanors, except in the event that an offense under 2) is committed against a member of the person’s family, household, or otherwise constitutes family violence, or if the offense is committed against a public servant, in which case it is a Class A misdemeanor.

If an offense under 2) is committed against a person the actor knows is a peace officer or judge, the charge becomes a state jail felony.

An offense under 3) is a Class A misdemeanor, unless the actor causes pecuniary loss of $1,500 or more to the owner of the building, room, place, or conveyance, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.

Punishment Range

Misdemeanor B

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed 180 days
  • Fine not to exceed $2,000
  • Both such fine and confinement

Misdemeanor A

  • Confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year
  • Fine not to exceed $4,000
  • Both such fine and confinement

State Jail Felony

  • Confinement in a state jail for not more than two years and not less than 180 days
  • In addition to confinement, may receive a fine not to exceed $10,000

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