The First Amendment does not protect threats of violence. However, a threat is not a crime unless the state can show that you consciously disregarded a substantial risk that your statements would be viewed as threatening violence.  The state must show that you were reckless.

The U.S. Supreme Court overruled the prior standard of proof: Did your communication seem threatening to the recipient?  Instead, the judge or jury should focus on your state of mind: Were you aware of your statement’s threatening character?

A number of Illinois laws punish threats of violence including harassment and stalking offenses.

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced attorney immediately.  An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense.  As with most crimes, the state must prove all the elements beyond a reasonable doubt.  Can the state prove you were aware that your messages were threatening? Even if the state’s evidence is airtight, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse 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.

Reference: Counterman v. Colorado

(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.)

Spread the love
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.