Sometimes in the context of an argument words will be uttered that amount to a threat. This can result in a serious criminal code offence.
To successfully prosecute this charge, the Crown Attorney (the prosecution) must prove that the accused knowingly caused the complainant, (typically known as the victim) to receive a threat of:
- Causing death or bodily harm to any person; or
- Damage, destroy or burn property; or
- Hurt or kill their animals, pets or livestock
To find a person guilty of uttering threats, the Court must find that each and every element of the offence has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Court must first determine whether the alleged threat was in fact made.
The next step is to determine whether the accused knowingly uttered the threat.
If the defence raises a reasonable doubt with respect to any elements of the offence, a Court must acquit the accused.
See the criminal charge penalty chart with respect to potential sentencing upon a finding of guilt or a plea of guilt for threatening.