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The law surrounding making terroristic threats

In today’s world, state and national security is a top priority. Surveillance efforts continue in post-9/11 America, and for good reason. Yet, government intrusion into our personal lives can lead to unwarranted criminal allegations. Sometimes those accusations involve terrorist, which could lead to serious charges. Failing to be aware of the laws surrounding these instances could be a costly mistake, and so, too, could failing to aggressively defend against prosecutors who may be out to set an example.

Therefore, this week we will briefly look at the Michigan law dealing with making terroristic threats. According to state law, one makes a terroristic threat when he or she communicates a threatened act of terrorism to another individual. An accused individual cannot defend against this charge by saying that he or she was incapable of committing the alleged threat. It is also not a defense to claim that one did not intend to carry out the alleged act.

The penalties for making a terroristic threat are harsh. If convicted, an individual could be sentenced to prison for as many as 20 years. Additionally, a convicted individual could be forced to pay a fine of up to $20,000. Losing 20 years of one’s life and having to pay $20,000 is a significant blow to one’s life and well-being. Such penalties could destroy personal relationships, leave a family unable to pay for shelter, food, and clothing, and, even after serving one’s debt to society, life may remain difficult far into the future.

Though there is a lot at stake in these felony cases, defense options may exist. It might be beneficial, therefore, for those facing an investigation or formal criminal charges to speak with an experienced defense attorney. He or she may be able to guide the accused through the process while fighting to protect the defendant’s rights and freedom.

Source: Michigan Legislature, “Section 750.543m,” accessed on June 12, 2015

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