In these times of highly publicized school shootings, it is no surprise that authorities take any threats against a school extremely seriously. In Illinois, such threats may be charged as disorderly conduct. Under 720 ILCS 5/26-1(a)(3.5), you commit disorderly conduct when you knowingly transmit or cause to be transmitted a threat of destruction of school property, or a threat of violence, death, or bodily harm directed against persons at a school. Such a violation is a Class 4 Felony punishable by one to four years in prison.

In a recent Illinois case, People v. Khan, a defendant posted on Facebook that he brought a gun to his college every day and that someone would anger him and “end up in the bag.” The defendant argued that his statement was ambiguous, and the jury could not find beyond a reasonable doubt that it referred to a violent act. The court disagreed stating the jury was not “required to ignore common sense and defer to the ridiculous.”

If you are charged with disorderly conduct for threatening a school, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. Can the state prove all the elements of your offense beyond a reasonable doubt? Were you knowingly making a threat? Maybe you were being ironic? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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