Terroristic Threats Attorneys
Philadelphia Terroristic Threats Lawyer Mark D. Copoulos has successfully defended the charge of Terroristic Threats. In Pennsylvania, the crime of Terroristic Threats is governed by Section 2706 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code. Under the Code, a person commits the crime of terroristic threats if the person communicates, either directly or indirectly, a threat to: (1) commit any crime of violence with intent to terrorize another; (2) cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly or facility of public transportation; or (3) otherwise cause serious public inconvenience, or cause terror or serious public inconvenience with reckless disregard of the risk of causing such terror or inconvenience.
Terroristic Threats is a misdemeanor of the first degree, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000.00. A defendant rarely receives a sentence of incarceration on a first offense of terroristic threats, particularly if the defendant has no prior criminal record. A defendant should take any criminal charges seriously, as a conviction may have a negative affect on one’s ability rent property and seek gainful employment.
In order to convict on Terroristic Threats the government must prove that (1) a threat to commit a crime of violence was made and (2) such a threat was communicated with intent to terrorize. Commonwealth v. Ferrer, 283 Pa. Super. 21, 23 (1980). The government must prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the sort of hesitation one would make in coming to a major life decision.
Terroristic Threats Defense Lawyers
Mark D. Copoulos successfully defended the charges of Terroristic Threats, Possession of Instrument of Crime, and Harassment in the Philadelphia Municipal Court on August 11, 2021. Defendant, J.C. was found not guilty of all charges following a trial before a Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge. The result was made particularly more satisfying by the government’s offer of twenty-four months probation and anger management prior to taking the case to trial. The Defendant was accused of threatening his neighbors with an ax following a dispute over a fence that abutted their property. Copoulos took the case to trial and the defendant was found not guilty of all charges.
Terroristic Threats Attorney Obtains Not Guilty
J.C. was charged with Terroristic Threats following an incident with his neighbors. J.C. returned to his South Philadelphia home to find a large fence erected next to his property. When J.C. confronted his neighbors about the obstruction they began yelling at him aggressively. J.C. then retrieved a sharp ax and began to chop away at the fence. During the incident J.C. waved the ax in the general direction of the troublesome neighbors. The entire incident was captured on the complaining witness’ home video camera, which was played at the trial proceeding.
Defendant was charged with Terroristic Threats for waving the ax at the neighbors. The Commonwealth cited to Commonwealth v. Hardwick, which stands for the proposition that “The offense (of terroristic threats) does not require that the accused intend to carry out the threat; it does require an intent to terrorize. The harm sought to be prevented is the psychological distress which follows from an invasion of another’s sense of personal security.”
At trial, Copoulos argued that this was a dispute between neighbors that did not rise to criminal conduct. He cited to In re J.H., which stands for the proposition that the charge of Terroristic Threats “is not meant to penalize mere spur-of-the-moment threats which result from anger…. The Court must consider the totality of the circumstances to determine whether the threat was a result of a heated verbal exchange or confrontation.” In re J.H., 797 A.2d 263.
Viewed in totality it was clear that J.C. was not a threat to his neighbors; while he was in possession of an axe there was a large fence between himself and the neighbor. Finally, J.C. had a reputation in the community for being a peaceful and law-abiding citizen. Copoulos called multiple character witnesses to corroborate that J.C. had a reputation for a non-violent nature in the community
Terroristic Threats Lawyer
The Court carefully considered the evidence and found the defendant not guilty of all charges. J.C. has filed an expungement of his criminal record, and shall face no long term ramifications for the unfortunate incident. Following the disposition J.C. left the following review of Mark Copoulos:
Mark did an excellent job with my case. He gets a five (5) star rating. My mind is finally at east after two years. THANK YOU.
Terroristic Threats Defense Attorney
Mark D. Copoulos has more than ten years of trial experience litigating criminal defense cases in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia Municipal Court and surrounding counties. He points with pride to numerous not guilty verdicts where the defendant was offered either a county prison sentence or extensive period of probation before the trial. Our strategy is simple: we sit down with the defendant and prepare thoroughly for every aspect of the case from cross examination to closing argument. If you have been charged with Terroristic Threats, Possession of Instrument of Crime, Harassment, or related misdemeanor charges contact our office for a free no obligation consultation on your legal matter. For a free consultation call us at 267-535-9776.