Criminal Threats In California – Penal Code 422

When you work with our team, we will guide you through each step of the bail bonds process, from the initial arrest to your bail bond being exonerated.

Our bail bondsman’s goal is to help you get your friend or loved one out of jail as quickly as possible.

The Bail Bonds Process

When in prison for a domestic abuse charge such as criminal threats, an individual should try to get out quickly. Here is the most common process people go through, from arrest to getting out on bail:

  1. You are arrested on a domestic violence charge.
  2. The next morning, you must appear before a judge who will go over your case, dictate a penalty, and set bail if the sentence includes jail time.
  3. The bail amount will depend on factors such as criminal history and the seriousness of the charge.
  4. Your loved ones might want to get you out of jail, but not have enough money to post bail.
  5. They can contact a bail agency for help, which usually requires them to put down a percentage of the amount (sometimes 10%, but this can vary depending on the charges).
  6. The person who is interested in bailing you out (known as a co-signer or indemnitor) has the legal responsibility for the bail bond and is responsible for the defendant’s appearing in court.
  7. Even if your loved ones still don’t have enough money to put this percentage down, they can use a valuable item as collateral, like a car, while the rest is paid in cash.
  8. After the bond agency accepts the payment, they begin working on the indemnity agreement paperwork and contacting the jail where you are detained to arrange your release.
  9. A bail bond agent from the agency will take care of the rest, posting bail at the prison where you are arrested and securing your release.
  10. Please remember that although this process can be completed if everything’s done correctly, an agency cannot begin working until the defendant has been through the process of arrest and booking, which can take longer.

Recently there has been increased attention brought to domestic violence cases from the media, lawmakers, and society, resulting in strict penalties for anyone convicted, so your process may vary or may even be altered by the notoriety of your charge.

How Much Is Bail For Criminal Threats?

The exact charges a person faces when being charged with domestic abuse may depend on what they have done directly.

Domestic violence cases are generally filed as cases of misdemeanors. In these cases, the initial bail payment is usually around 10 percent of the total amount. There are, however, several technicalities that can influence the cost of bail bonds for domestic violence.

However, if a person threatens another individual, then the accused can be charged with criminal threats. 

Criminal threats in the State of California carry a penalty of up to three years served in state prison and even harsher penalties.

It is meaningless whether a threat is executed (or even meant to be) or not. A criminal threat allegation can be charged if the circumstances of the case reflect an immediate sense of danger to themselves or their immediate families.

If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor for criminal threats, they may face up to 364 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000, whereas felony criminal threats carry a sentence of up to three years in state prison and fines of up to $10,000.

What Is Considered a Criminal Threat?

Formerly known as “terrorist threat” under Penal Code 422, making a criminal threat in California is a “wobbler” offense. The prosecutors will charge a person with either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances of the case and their criminal background. However, crimes carry a maximum sentence of four years in State Prison, with up to one additional year in evidence of involvement of deadly or dangerous weapons.

The consequences a person convicted on a criminal threat charge may face include:

  • Time in jail
  • Expensive fines 
  • A strike to their criminal record

Despite what some might say, it is a crime to willfully threaten another person (under the California Penal Code 422). A criminal threat is constituted by an oral, written or even text message that can affect the victim’s life. As mentioned above, criminal threats are considered one strike against a defendant as set out in California’s three-strikes statute.

Examples of Criminal Threats Under California Law

Criminal threats can be made through email, voicemail, social media post, blog comment, text message, video or fax, and of course, verbally and in writing, or through electronic communication.

Some examples of criminal threats that can cause a person’s arrest are:

  • Threatening to kill anyone while pointing a weapon at them
  • Sending an email to a parent threatening to kill their child
  • Calling a former boss and asking him to “watch their back”
  • Writing a former spouse and threatening to set their apartment on fire
  • Sending someone else to threaten a person

Getting Out Of Jail When Arrested For Criminal Threats In California

Penal Code 422 is an extremely complicated law. Many elements will need to be proven by the prosecution for convicting a person. If you’ve been suspected of making criminal threats, that means a variety of possible defenses are open to you. Depending on the facts of the case, some of the next defenses may be claimed:

  • The threat made was not specific, but vague and ambiguous
  • The “threatened person” did not fear for their safety
  • It was only a threatening gesture, and it was not communicated verbally, electronically, or in writing
  • The recipient’s fear was merely momentary
  • The statement made is protected by free speech

If you or a family member have been arrested for a domestic violence offense, it is crucial to meet with a domestic violence criminal defense attorney immediately.

If you need help with your bail, call now for 24-hour domestic violence bail bond services: (800) 224-5911.

We have several offices throughout Southern California where we can meet you. Check out the map below to find the location closest to you. We have convenient locations in Santa Ana, Newport Beach, Norwalk, Torrance, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Pedro, Lakewood, Whittier, & Anaheim.

Criminal Threats FAQ

A- There are three key things you need to know:

  • Where is the defendant in custody? Includes city, state, and prison names.
  • What is the person’s full name and booking number in jail? To contact the jail, the bail agent will need this information.
  • How much is the bail? With the bail number, you will tell the bail bondsman how much it would cost to post a bond and conditions to get the person out of jail.

A – It can be anywhere, usually by people in relationships, families, or marriages. People who have children together can be domestically abused as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s on the street, in the home, in the car, or a hospital; if you are in an intimate relationship with them (marriage, relationship, family, etc.), it is considered domestic abuse.

A- Technically speaking, unless you have extenuating circumstances, you cannot leave the State unless you are on bail. The local court handling your case and the bonding company who wrote your bail bond must pre-approve these rare occurrences that could cause you to leave the State.

A- There is no specific answer, it all depends on the conditions, such as what prison the prisoner is in, what crime has been committed, the amount of bail, and the duration of the court case. Typically, bail is set the day after the defendant is charged, but if the arrest occurs on a weekend or night, they will have to wait for the court’s next business day to see a judge and get bail.

While this is a challenging and stressful situation, you can try to converse with an organization without any time expectations. Bail bond agencies are great at telling you how long the process should take for your loved one to be out of jail and keeping you updated every step of the way.

A – There is no actual guideline that defines every single item you can use as collateral for bail. The five most commonly used items are vehicle, real estate, precious metals and jewelry, savings and investments, and pawnable items.

A- If this is allowed by your agreement with the bail bond provider, you may revoke your agreement and cancel your responsibility for the bail. You will do so if you suspect the defendant is trying to miss a bail date or is not meeting the bail conditions. If you want to cancel a bond, please contact the agent as soon as possible. The lawyer will notify the court, and the suspect will be held by some means before he or she can obtain bail. Fees may be associated with canceling a bond, which will be explained to you by the agent.

A – Expungement of your criminal conviction under Penal Code 422 is possible if you were convicted of a misdemeanor or otherwise did not serve time in state prison, a factor that will render your conviction ineligible for expungement relief. A felony in California under this code section, however, provides for state prison time.

However, since criminal threats can be considered as a felony and a misdemeanor under California Law, the expungement rules may vary. Although misdemeanors carry fewer fines than felonies, they exist for life on the criminal record, which means that misdemeanors may appear on your history checkups.

An expungement does not result in the complete eradication of your conviction record. It remains accessible to persons considering you for public employees and law enforcement and court personnel for a sentence enhancement if you commit a subsequent felony offense.

A- Non Citizens should be aware that an automatic immigration hold can be triggered by being arrested or detained for a domestic violence offense.

Whenever a noncitizen ends up in custody, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would be notified, and the noncitizen would be placed in an immigration hold, which will prevent them from being released from custody. This hold tells the jail not to release the noncitizen, even at the end of the sentence of detention. Instead, DHS will place the noncitizen in federal custody once the prison term is finished and the removal proceedings begin.

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