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Making a threat in a phone call or electronic communication is one of the ways you can violate Penal Code 653m. Because of this, defendants are sometimes charged with both the crime of making criminal threats and the crime of making annoying phone calls.
You can be prosecuted for criminal threats that are made verbally (including over the telephone), in writing, or in an electronic communication (like a text message). You can't be found guilty of Penal Code 422 unless all of the following are proven:
(1) You willfully threatened to commit a crime that would result in someone's death or great bodily injury,
(2) You specifically intended your statement to be taken as a threat, and
(3) The statement was unequivocal and specific enough to cause someone to reasonably fear for his or her own safety or that of his or her immediate family members.
The California crime of making criminal threats is a wobbler. This means that the prosecutor can charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the offense and the defendant's criminal history (if s/he has one).
The maximum misdemeanor penalties are up to one (1) year in county jail and/or a maximum $1,000 fine. The maximum felony penalties are up to three (3) years in California state prisonand a maximum $10,000 fine. You can be charged as a felony and it will depend on the circumstances and what was said. It is good that you have no criminal history and you should cooperate fully with the police. You need to let the officer know that you will not contact her again and will be leaving the county and are very sorry, hopefully they will let you off on another warning. But tis is very serious.
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