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Am I going to go to jail for threatening someone’s life?

My daughter has been caught up in the wrong crowd for quite some time, constantly dating guys who have no jobs and are total junkies. She recently showed up at a family party trying to cover up a bruise on her face with makeup. I questioned her about it for hours until finally she admitted that her boyfriend had hit her. I drove to their place and threatened to kill him if he ever touched her again. He supposedly went to the police and now we've got a my word against his word situation.

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    Jeff Holmes | Jeff Holmes - Attorney at Law
    119 East 8th Street
    Vancouver, WA 98660
    (360) 975-9288
    You should be careful about what you post on the internet as far as revealing facts about a case. Although this site appears to be relatively anonymous, you never know what the State may try to use against you in trial. That being said, you could in theory be charged with Felony Harassment or misdemeanor Harassment. Both of those crimes, if convicted, could lead to jail time and additional penalties. Hopefully you chose not to speak to police at all, as lying to police or admitting the threat would potentially create negative situations for you going forward. Regardless, you should contact an experienced defense attorney going forward whether you have been charged yet or not to discuss the process and what to expect going forward.
    Answer Applies to: Washington - Replied: 2/26/2013
    Craig Andersen | Andersen Law PLLC
    10000 NE 7th Ave Suite 330B
    Vancouver, WA 98685
    (360) 397-0111
    Listen very carefully. Do not discuss this with anyone except the attorney you hire. Right now, it is his word against yours.

    If there were no witnesses, that is good. The one thing that could turn this into a win for the prosecution is your statements to police or people who could repeat these admissions. You have the right to remain silent. Use it.

    Now, what you may have done is called "harassment." Harassment involving threats to kill is a felony. However, the fear on the part of the threatened party must be reasonable. For example, Hugo Chavez, the President of Venezuela may call me up and threaten to kill me. Would my fear be reasonable?

    Not unless there were some reason he had the present ability to kill me. So there is a subjective standard. Things like tone of voice are important. The distance between the threatener and the threatened can matter.

    If I stood at the end of a football field and threatened you with a sling shot, it would not create reasonable fear. However, a .30.06 rifle would. Best that you consult an attorney, keep quiet and avoid the person thereatened.

    If your daughter is assaulted again, she needs to call the police.
    Answer Applies to: Washington - Replied: 2/26/2013
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