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The Truth About Criminal Threats

The Truth About Criminal Threats

The Truth About Criminal Threats

Threats are a part of life, a knee jerk reaction to anger, hurt feelings, and fear. Most people make threats without any intention of ever carrying them out. However, in this current world where school shootings and other heinous acts seem to be a weekly occurrence, people and members of the law enforcement community are taking threats more seriously than ever before.

Threats made on school grounds or that include a school system tend to be the first ones that law enforcement crack down on.

In these instances, law enforcement act first and ask questions later. A perfect example of this is a recent situation where a few students had a conversation about their desire to shoot up at their school in Los Angeles was overheard. The students had barely finished their conversation when police arrived on the scene and arrested both students. The charge was making criminal threats.

This type of thing is happening all over the country.

There aren’t any statistics outlining how many of the students who are charged with making criminal threats are actually doing nothing more than blowing off steam, but if the police and media are to be believed, for the most part, this is a situation of where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Police report that in many instances, after arresting a student for making criminal threats, they discover that the student was in possession of an alarming amount of firepower. An example of this is the arrest of a 17-year-old L.A. student who was arrested. When the police investigated the student’s home, they not only found 90-high-capacity magazines, but also 2 assault weapons as well as some handguns.

In California, the law is clear when it comes to making criminal threats.

California Penal Code Section 422 clearly states that making any type of verbal or written threat of death or bodily injury to another person is against the law. Comments posted on social media sites count as a written threat.

One interesting loophole In Penal Code Section 422 is that there’s no mention of gestures. At this point, this means that gestures that are symbolic to a gang or pointing a finger gun at someone doesn’t break the law. Whether or not gestures should constitute as a criminal threat was discussed in front of the California Supreme Court during the 2017 case, People v. Gonzalez. The court agreed with the defendant that gestures weren’t admissible in court. So far, the Penal Code hasn’t been amended to include the use of hand gestures as a criminal threat.

 

The Call You Never Want To Make

The Call You Never Want To Make

The Call You Never Want To Make

Whenever you have to call 911, it’s never a good thing. No one ever calls 911 to celebrate a victory. When you call 911, it’s usually because things have taken a turn for the worst and the situation is out of your control.

When you dial 911, you aren’t just calling the police. You’re calling a dispatch for emergency services that include medical services. You should only call 911 for certain reasons. Blocking up the lines takes time away from dispatchers who could be helping another person with a dire emergency.

Reasons why you should call 911 can vary.

You should only call 911 when it is an emergency.

When you make a call to 911, be prepared to quickly give as accurate and direct information as you can. Remaining calm while talking to the dispatcher will also benefit you. Dispatchers are trained to remain calm since they deal with emergency calls all the time.

The following are reasons why you call 911:

  • Medical Emergency
  • Car Accident
  • House Fire
  • Wild Fire
  • Someone Collapses
  • Someone is Hurting Another
  • Someone is Breaking into a House

Reason why you shouldn’t call 911 can vary as well too. Tying up emergency services is a crime, and comes with serious consequences. When emergency services are tied up helping someone who doesn’t really need help, someone who actually does need assistance can suffer. If you continuously call 911 for non-emergency reasons you can expect to be fined.

The following are not reasons to call 911:

  • You have a doctor’s appointment and need a ride.
  • You locked yourself out of your car.
  • You need a ride to court.
  • You don’t feel like driving to the hospital.
  • You’re pulling a prank on a friend.

One more thing you need to remember is if you accidentally call 911, don’t hang up the phone. Stay on the line and let the dispatcher know. If you hang up the dispatcher will send emergency services to your location and you can then be charged for tying up emergency services. When you find yourself having to call 911 it can be pretty scary. Emergency services are one of those things in life that you are grateful for, but never want to use.