Unlike in several other states and territories, there is no particular charge of issuing a threat to kill in New South Wales. Threatening someone with a weapon is a severe offense that can result in considerable prison time. It is not necessary for the person threatened to actually believe that they are going to be killed or suffer serious injury.
People who make threats should be aware that they have violated criminal law even if they do not intend to carry them out. This crime is called "menacing." Menacing means any act or series of acts intended to cause fear in another by using force or violence or by causing danger or distress to someone's health or safety.
Menacing can be either done directly or indirectly. Direct menaces involve a definite threat of death or serious bodily harm while indirect menaces may be inferred from words or conduct. For example, if I tell you that I am going to murder you and then go out and buy a rifle, knife, and rope, I have directly threatened your life.
If I throw a rock at your head but miss, this would be an indirect menace as it did not involve a direct threat but it could still be considered menacing because it was intentional and it caused you fear since you knew it could have hurt you.
In NSW, threatening someone with a weapon carries the same penalty as actually using the weapon.
Threats are a felony in the vast majority of jurisdictions. A threat without a visible, immediate, and direct threat of aggression, on the other hand, is frequently held apart from a remark that might inspire fear or violent action. The existence of a clear and imminent danger of hostility is frequently regarded as essential to establish the criminality of a threat.
Felonies are punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. Some states have reduced this penalty to 1-5 years if the threat was made against a police officer or a public official such as a judge or senator. Other factors such as intent and context may also reduce the charge to a misdemeanor.
In addition to imprisonment, threats can also be punished by fines or community service. In some cases, threats can result in deportation or exclusion from entering the United States.
Threats can be either written or oral. They can be made directly or indirectly to another person. An oral threat can be understood by its ordinary meaning or it can be made explicit by using various forms of expression. For example, someone tells you that they will kill you or inflict bodily harm if you do something wrong then this is an oral threat even though it was not written down. On the other hand, if you write down your thoughts and put them in a letter then this is called writing a threat and it is only criminal if there is evidence that you intended it to be acted upon.
Threatening you with death or bodily harm It is a crime to threaten to murder you or gravely damage you (give you "grievous bodily harm"), or to send you a letter, SMS, email, or other written material conveying such a threat. For this, the individual faces up to seven years in prison. The crime is usually committed by sending letters to people they have had disputes with, or posting messages on social networking sites.
In addition to the prison sentence, the criminal justice system also takes into account the psychological effect that these threats have had on you. The judge will also take into account your financial situation when deciding how long you will be forced to live under such threat.
It is not necessary for someone to actually carry out their threat to be convicted of this crime. If an individual makes you feel fearful by saying they are going to murder you or cause you grievous bodily harm, then this is enough to constitute a threat for the purposes of the law.
People make threats all the time without really intending to follow through. They may say something in anger or while being intoxicated that they can't remember after they have gone to bed. This does not mean that they are free from responsibility for their actions. If you felt threatened by what they said, then they have committed a crime.
If you believe that you are facing violence from someone, call the police immediately.