A person commits an offense of a terroristic threat if he or she threatens to commit any offense involving violence to any person or property with intent to:
- cause a reaction of any type to his or her threat by an official or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies;
- place any person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury;
- prevent or interrupt the occupation or use of a building, room, place of assembly, place to which the public has access, place of employment or occupation, aircraft, automobile, or other form of conveyance, or other public place;
- cause impairment or interruption of public communications, public transportation, public water, gas, or power supply or other public service;
- place the public or a substantial group of the public in fear of serious bodily injury; or
- influence the conduct or activities of a branch or agency of the federal government, the state, or a political subdivision of the state.
The punishment for a terroristic threat depends on the different types of intent listed above. The punishment can range from a <class B misdemeanor> to a <third degree felony>.
An individual must have the specific intent to commit a terrorist threat. If someone reacts to an individual’s conduct, this reaction does not by itself call for the offense of a terroristic threat. Reaction can play a part in determining the illegality of an act, but the individual still needs to have the specific intent in the illegality of their conduct. Specific intent can be shown by proving that the individual wanted to elicit a certain reaction. The intent to cause the desired reaction is the key determination for a terroristic threat. Also, it does not matter whether there is actually a real threat. Additionally, a conditional threat of future violence may fall short for what is required for an offense of a terroristic threat.
The exact language of this law, further details, and additional punishment concerns can be found in section 22.07 of the Texas Penal Code. None of this information can take place of the information, knowledge, and expertise provided by a licensed attorney.