Threats to Kill

Making Threats to Kill

Making threats to kill another person is obviously a serious criminal offence. However, the issue becomes slightly more complicated when you consider how frequently the phrase “I’ll kill you” is used in normal, legal, conversations. The offence of making threats to kill is defined in section 16 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

If you are accused of making threats to kill, the prosecution must prove that:

  • You made a threat that you would kill another person, X,
  • There was no lawful excuse for making such a threat, and
  • That you intended that X would fear that you intended to carry out the threat.

This means that what matters is not whether you intended to carry out the threat, but whether you wanted X to fear that you would carry out the threat. This subtle distinction usually requires great care during a trial, so it is important to be represented by an expert criminal defence specialist with experience of handling allegations of making threats to kill.

The offence of making threats to kill is an either way offence, meaning it can be dealt with in either the Magistrates Court or the Crown Court. If convicted, the maximum prison sentence is 6 months in the Magistrates Court or 10 years in the Crown Court.

If you have been accused of making threats to kill, it is important that you have expert advice from a specialist criminal defence lawyer. Contact us to see if we can help you find the best criminal solicitor or barrister for your case.

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