Dover, DE Man Arrested for Making Threats at Local High School
In the wake of the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at a Florida high school, Delaware State Police were not taking lightly a 19-year-old Dover man’s threat that he would do harm to a school in Woodside, DE. Delaware Online reported that officials were tipped off by a student at James H. Groves Adult High School, who said he overheard the accused make the threatening remark. Police arrived at the school, arrested the man, and held him while they searched his home. After authorities found no weapons, the suspect was arraigned and charged with Felony Terroristic Threatening. It is interesting that the mere utterance of words could lead to felony charges, but threats made in a certain context may be treated just as harshly as other violent crimes in Delaware.
Acts of Terroristic Threatening
If you make comments that threaten someone with bodily harm or death, you can face criminal charges for Terroristic Threatening; this offense falls under the Assault and Related Offenses chapter under the Delaware Criminal Code. Specifically, charges may apply where you:
- Uttered threats regarding your intent to commit an offense likely to lead to death or serious injury to another person;
- Made false statements that would cause evacuation of a building or public transportation, such as a bomb threat; or,
- Acted in some way that causes a person to believe that he or she has been exposed to a substance that may cause death or serious bodily injury.
Note that is it not necessary for a prosecuting attorney to show that you acted on your threats, or actually cause a death or serious injury. Terroristic Threatening is one type of Delaware crime where your words may lead to an arrest.
Felony Versus Misdemeanor
Terroristic Threatening is typically treated as a Class A Misdemeanor, which is the most serious misdemeanor. A conviction could mean up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,300. You may also be ordered community services hours, and to pay restitution for costs incurred as a result of committing the crime.
However, officials will seek Felony Terroristic Threatening charges against you where:
- You threaten a person older than 62 years of age; or,
- The subject of the threats was a daycare facility, nursery, school, assisted living community, senior care center, or similar institution.
The exact nature of the felony charges depends on the circumstances of the offense.
- It is a Class E Felony to make false statements likely to cause evacuation, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
- Class F Felony charges apply if your acts cause a person to fear exposure to a hazardous substance, so you face up to three years in prison.
- You may be charged with a Class G Felony and sentenced to two years in prison if you make false statements that cause a serious inconvenience.
Trust an Experienced Delaware Lawyer with Your Defense
If you have questions about Terroristic Threatening charges or other Assault crimes in Delaware, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica in Wilmington, DE. We can schedule a consultation to discuss your case and review your legal options.