Threats to Kill

If you have been charged with making threats to kill, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.

Elements of the offence

For the prosecution to prove the offence of threats to kill, they must prove three elements. The elements can be found in s 20 of the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) and are as follows:

  1. The accused made a threat to the alleged victim to kill either the alleged victim or another person;
  2. The accused either intended the alleged victim to fear that the threat would be carried out or was reckless as to whether or not the alleged victim would fear that the threat would be carried out; and
  3. The threat was made without lawful justification or defence.

Will I have to go to court?

Charges for threats to kill will likely be tried in the Magistrates’ Court.
Depending on the circumstances of the offence, it may be heard in the County Court. Expert legal advice is important in ensuring the most appropriate defence to a charge of threats to kill.

Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove all the elements or the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice in building a defence as the circumstances of the events that led to the charge can assist in a strong defence argument.

Maximum penalty:

The maximum penalty this offence carries is 10 years imprisonment, known as a Level 5 imprisonment.

What sentences are usually given?

Between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2016, 31 people were sentenced with threats to kill as a listed offence. From that number, 61% were given imprisonment sentences, with a maximum term of 4.25 years. The median length of an imprisonment sentence was 1 years.
Non-imprisonment sentences included Community Corrections Orders (22%) and community-based orders (6.4%).

What do I do now?

To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.