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Criminal defense: Being charged with making criminal threats

Accusations of domestic violence, stalking or making criminal threats are often involve situations where a disagreement became heated. These situations commonly involve two parties who know each other, although this is not always the case, and it's easy for people to say and do things in the heat of the moment that they later wish they could take back. While you can't go back in time, having solid legal representation can ensure your rights are protected and make the process less overwhelming.

Unfortunately, once these disagreements find their way to the California courts and criminal charges have been filed, handling the situation becomes more complicated than just saying "I'm sorry." While charges of stalking or making criminal threats may seem less serious because they are based on words and not actions, a conviction can still carry serious penalties, up to and including jail time.

These types of accusations can be prosecuted as felonies or misdemeanors under California law. If the charge is prosecuted as a felony, a conviction will fall under the three strikes law, meaning any penalties related to subsequent felony convictions may be more serious. A felony conviction can also have serious consequences, particularly if your job involves working around children or the elderly.

In some cases, defendants may be able to plead to lesser charges and complete anger management therapy instead of serving jail time. This is not an option in all cases, however, and being able to negotiate a plea deal is never guaranteed. Talking with a criminal defense attorney as soon as the police become involved can help defendants understand their options and all of the possible outcomes.

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