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Terroristic Threats

Crimes for making a terroristic threat are charged under Texas Penal Code §22.07. A person commits the offense of Terroristic Threat if he or she threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with the intent to place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. The degree of the charge can range from a Class B Misdemeanor to a Third Degree Felony depending on the seriousness of the threat and the type of person or group threatened.

For purposes of domestic violence, making a terroristic threat means to intentionally place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm. A terroristic threat that is a form of domestic or family violence is a classified as a Class A misdemeanor when committed against a family member, household member or person with whom the accused is in a dating relationship.


Attorney for Terroristic Threats in Austin, TX

If you were charged with making a terroristic threat, a penal code offense under Section 22.07, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The Law Office of Kevin Bennett. Attorney Kevin Bennett is experienced in representing clients charged with a wide variety of felony and misdemeanor offenses in Travis County and the surrounding areas.

Kevin Bennett also represents clients on related charges including family violence, domestic assault, or stalking in Austin and the surrounding areas of Round Rock, Cedar Park, San Marcos, Georgetown, and Pflugerville. He also represents clients charged with making a threat in Travis County and the surrounding areas including Hays County, Williamson County, Bastrop County, and Caldwell County, TX.

Call (512) 476-4626 today to schedule a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.


 Penalties for Making a Terroristic Threat in Texas

The penalties for the crime of making a terroristic threat depend on who the threat was made against. Depending on the accusations, the crime can be charged as a Class B Misdemeanor, a Class A Misdemeanor, a State Jail Felony, or a Third Degree Felony.


Class B Misdemeanor for Threats to Agency that Deals with Emergencies

An offense under Texas Penal Code Section 22.07(a)(1) is a Class B misdemeanor. A violation of Texas Penal Code Section 22.07(a)(1) occurs when a person threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to cause a reaction of any type to his threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.


Class B Misdemeanor for Threats of Serious Bodily Injury

Another way that a Class B misdemeanor can be charged for making a terroristic threat is contained in Texas Penal Code Section 22.07(a)(2). Subsection (a)(2) prohibits a person from committing any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. 


Class A Misdemeanor for Threats of Serious Bodily Injury as Family Violence

Under Texas Penal Code Section 22.07(a)(2), crimes for making a terroristic can be charged as Class A misdemeanor if the offense involves committing any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury when the crime is committed against:

  1. a member of the person's family or household or otherwise constitutes family violence; or
  2. a public servant.

State Jail Felony Versions of Making Terroristic Threats

An offense under Texas Penal Code Section 22.07(a)(3) is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, unless the actor causes pecuniary loss of $1,500 or more to the owner of the building, room, place, or conveyance, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.

The amount of pecuniary loss is the amount of economic loss suffered by the owner of the conveyance, place, room, or building as a result of the interruption or prevention of the occupation or use of the conveyance, place, room, or building.


Third Degree Felony Verison of Making Terroristic Threats

An offense under Subsection (a)(4), (a)(5), or (a)(6) is a felony of the third degree. Those offenses include:

  • causing interruption of impairment of public services for the power supply, gas supply, public water supply, public transportation or public communications.
  • placing the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
  • influence of the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.

Definitions under the Texas Statute Prohibiting Terroristic Threats

The term "family" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.003, Family Code. Under that section, the term "family" is defined to include:

  • individuals related by consanguinity or affinity
  • individuals who are former spouses of each other, individuals who are the parents of the same child, without regard to marriage, and
  • a foster child and foster parent, without regard to whether those individuals reside together.

The term "family violence" has the meaning assigned by Section 71.004, Family Code. Under that section, the term "family violence" is defined to include:

  • an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in:
    • physical harm
    • bodily injury
    • assault
    • sexual assault or
    • that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of:
      • imminent physical harm
      • bodily injury
      • assault
      • sexual assault
  • an act of "abuse" is defined Sections 261.001(1)(C), (E), (G), (H), (I), (J), and (K), by a member of a family or household toward a child of the family or household; or

  • an act of dating violence which is defined under  Section 71.0021 as an act, other than a defensive measure to protect oneself, by an actor that:

  • is committed against a victim or applicant for a protective order with whom the actor has or has had a dating relationship; or
  • because of the victim's or applicant's marriage to or dating relationship with an individual with whom the actor is or has been in a dating relationship or marriage.

The term family violence does not include defensive measures to protect oneself (often called "self-defense").

The term "household" is defined by Section 71.005 as a unit composed of persons living together in the same dwelling, without regard to whether they are related to each other.


Additional Resources

Crime Victims - Information on Terroristic Threats - Visit the website of the Texas Attorney General’s Office to find information on making a threat of terror or stalking. The website explains why stalking offenses often involve a threat of violence with the intent to put a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. 

Terroristic Threats in Texas - Visit the Wikipedia website to find an article describing the criminal offenses of terroristic threats contained in Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code when compared to the Model Penal Code or California Penal Code.


This article was last updated on Friday, September 15, 2017.