Bail Bond for Felony Making Criminal Threats PC 422

If you or a loved one find yourselves in a difficult situation, we understand the urgency and stress that comes with it. At Angels Bail Bonds, we specialize in providing the support and assistance needed to secure bail for making criminal threats charges.

Learn the basics about the bail process for a felony criminal threats charge, and then contact Angels Bail Bonds today. Let us be your trusted partner in navigating the process for bail for making criminal threats charges. We are here to help you regain your freedom and prepare for your legal journey.

What is bail?

Bail in California refers to the amount of money or property that a defendant or their surety (a person responsible for the defendant’s appearance in court) must deposit with the court to secure the defendant’s release from custody while awaiting trial. The money can be in the form of cash bail, checks, bonds, or property, but not credit cards.

The purpose of bail is to ensure that the defendant appears in court for all scheduled hearings and does not flee before the trial. A county bail schedule or table determines bail money amounts. (See the LA County and Orange County felony bail schedule here.) Still, a judge can deviate from the schedule based on various factors, including the severity of the offense, the defendant’s criminal history, and whether the defendant is a risk to public safety. If the defendant fails to appear in court, the bail is forfeited, and a warrant may be issued for their arrest.

What are bail bonds?

When you find yourself in a situation where you can’t afford to pay for your bail, bail bonds might be the solution for you. A bail bondsman will charge you a fee in exchange for providing the payment. Bail bond companies in California charge only 10% of the total bail amount to post-bond for a defendant. So, if the cost of bail is $20,000, the bondsman will charge $2,000 instead of the full amount. While this may still seem like a lot of money, it’s much more affordable than paying the entire bail amount, especially on extremely high amounts for some serious felonies.

Those rates can be as high as 20% for some immigration and federal charges because these rates are set by law, and all bail bonds companies must charge the same amount. Despite the costs, using a bail bondsman can be a lifesaver for those who cannot afford to be released from custody on bail or need any help navigating the bail process.

What happens at a bail hearing?

A crucial part of the bail process is the hearing, when the amount of bail is normally set at the person’s initial court appearance, often known as the arraignment stage or pre-trial detention. A judge can either release a person on their own recognizance (OR) with a promise to appear in court at a later date or deny their OR.

If the charges are infraction offenses or even some misdemeanor offenses—such as a DUI with no accident injuries or significant property damage— the person will usually be released without bail after being arrested. More serious felony charges that might mean a danger to public safety, like assault with a deadly weapon or with bodily injury to the victim, or even murder, will not have OR as an option and will only be released from custody on bail.

You must pay the bail amount or post a bail bond on the schedule. An arresting officer might ask for a higher amount than what the schedule suggests.

What Factors Influence a Defendant’s Bail Amount?

The bail bond process starts when a defendant is in front of a judge to determine bail. Then, several factors are put into play, including the severity of the crime, criminal history or prior felony convictions, whether the defendant is a flight risk, community ties, financial resources, their potential danger to public safety, and even mental health, which are considered when determining bail amount.

The bail schedule further gives guidance for all criminal charges, with the judge having some leeway in the specific amounts, as mentioned. And even if they’re allowed out on bail, the defendant might have to be placed under house arrest, be prohibited from owning any deadly weapons or placed under electronic monitoring.

A good bail bonds company and a criminal defense attorney can help you navigate and understand these factors, possibly even lowering the amount.

Two teenagers harassing and filming another teenager on the ground, depicting the serious issue of felony making criminal threats.

Have You Been Charged With Criminal Felony Making Criminal Threats PC 422?

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, you or a loved one must contact the experts at Angels Bail Bonds immediately. Our team of bail bondsmen and criminal defense lawyers provide assistance during pre-trial detention at no extra cost, including nationwide.

What is Felony Making Criminal Threats?

Making criminal threats under PC 422 in California refers to the act of willfully and maliciously threatening to harm or kill another person. This crime is committed when an individual communicates a threat to another person, either verbally, in writing, or through electronic means, with the specific intent to instill fear and cause the targeted person to reasonably believe that the threat will be carried out.

The threat must be so unequivocal, immediate, and specific that it instills a sense of fear for the safety of the recipient or their immediate family.

Formerly known as “terrorist threat,” making criminal threats can be charged either as misdemeanors or felonies, are considered a serious crime, and are punishable by prison or jail time, fines, or both, depending on the circumstances of the case.

California Penal Code 422 is written as such:

(a) Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime that will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family’s safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.

(b) For purposes of this section, “immediate family” means any spouse, whether by marriage or not, parent, child, any person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree, or any other person who regularly resides in the household, or who, within the prior six months, regularly resided in the household.

(c) “Electronic communication device” includes, but is not limited to, telephones, cellular telephones, computers, video recorders, fax machines, or pagers. “Electronic communication” has the same meaning as the term defined in Subsection 12 of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States Code.


When trying to convict someone under PC 422, a prosecutor must prove the following main elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Willful Threat: The prosecutor must show that the defendant willfully made a credible threat to unlawfully kill or cause great corporal injury to another person. It can’t be a simple gesture and must be made verbally, electronically, or in written form.
  • Immediate and Specific: The threat must be immediate, meaning that it must convey an imminent danger of bodily harm to the victim. It also has to be specific enough to communicate a clear and unequivocal intention to commit violence and cause physical injury or worse.
  • Intent: The prosecutor must demonstrate that the defendant made the threat with the specific intent to cause sustained fear or reasonable fear in the victim that the threat would be carried out. The defendant’s subjective intent is relevant in establishing this element.
  • Credible Threat: The threat must be one that a reasonable person would interpret as a serious expression of intent to cause bodily harm. It should be evaluated based on the context, surrounding circumstances, and the relationship between the defendant and the victim. The presence of a deadly weapon will always elevate any threatening gesture to a credible threat, for example.

Most prosecutors won’t go after people who threaten strangers after a single verbal threat in public but might do so if it becomes a situation where someone with a history of threats continues to stalk or send messages via letters or the internet and social media, elevating the status from an alleged threat to a real threat.

It is important to note that the threat does not have to be carried out, and the intent to cause reasonable and sustained fear of death or bodily injury is enough. The above elements are also a general overview, and specific elements may vary depending on the circumstances and interpretation of the state law.

Suppose you have been charged with making criminal threats. In that case, it is recommended to consult with a criminal defense attorney who can provide you with accurate legal advice tailored to your situation.

Types of Felony Making Criminal Threats Charges in California

Making criminal threats under Penal Code 422 is a wobbler crime, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

Formerly known as making terrorist threats, to threaten someone criminally under PC 422 is when someone uses the threat of death or physical injury, and there’s a reasonable fear from the victim about the prospect of execution of that credible threat against them or their immediate family.

Your criminal history, relationship with the victim, and whether or not a dangerous weapon was used to threaten someone are key factors in determining if it’s a felony offense.

Extortion vs Criminal Threats

The crime of making criminal threats, as defined under Penal Code 422 in California, and the crime of extortion, as defined under Penal Code 518, are distinct offenses with some similarities but also notable differences.

Criminal threats occur when a person willfully threatens to kill or inflict great bodily injury upon another person, thereby causing that person a reasonable fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family. It is important to note that the credible threat must be specific and unequivocal, leaving no doubt about the intention to cause bodily injury. The prosecution must also establish that the victim’s fear was reasonable under the circumstances.

On the other hand, extortion, as defined under PC 518, involves obtaining property or services from someone else through the use of force, fear, or conditional threats. The key distinction from criminal threats is that extortion involves obtaining something of value, such as money, real property, goods, or services, rather than solely instilling sustained fear in the victim. Extortion can occur through various means, including blackmail, where the accused threatens to reveal damaging or embarrassing information about the victim unless they comply with their demands.

While both criminal threats and extortion involve credible threats, the major difference lies in the objective of the perpetrator. In criminal threats, the primary aim is to instill reasonable fear in the victim, causing them to believe that they or their family will suffer harm. Extortion, however, is focused on conditional threats for gaining something of value from the victim, whether it be money, property, or services, by exploiting their fear or vulnerability.

Extortion under PC 518 can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. Felony extortion carries a maximum prison sentence of four years, while misdemeanor extortion can result in up to one year in county jail.

Understanding these differences is crucial in determining the appropriate charges and potential penalties for each offense.

Penalties in Felony Making Criminal Threats Cases

The penalties can be severe for a felony conviction of making criminal threats, which is the act of using verbal or written communication to threaten bodily injury to another person, causing them to reasonably fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family.

If found guilty of a felony offense under Penal Code Section 422, the convicted individual may face:

A felony conviction can result in a state prison sentence. The length of imprisonment can vary depending on the circumstances of the case, prior criminal history, and other factors considered by the court. The potential prison sentence can range from 16 months to 3 years or more.

In addition to imprisonment, the court may impose fines as a penalty. The amount of the fine can vary, but it can be a maximum of $10,000.

In some cases, the court may choose to sentence the convicted individual to probation instead of imprisonment. During the probation period, the person must adhere to specific conditions imposed by the court, such as regular check-ins with a probation officer, mandatory counseling, or anger management programs, and refrain from any further criminal activity. Violating the terms of probation can lead to additional penalties, including imprisonment.

If the criminal threats resulted in any financial losses or damages to the victim, the court may order the convicted individual to pay restitution. This could include compensation for medical expenses, therapy costs, property damage, or any other losses caused by the threats.

Dangerous Weapon Enhancement of Sentence

It is important to note that these penalties are not exhaustive and can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case, like if the threat was directed at a peace officer. Or, if there was a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense, it can add a year to any state prison sentence.

Three Strikes Law

Furthermore, a felony conviction for making criminal threats can have long-term consequences beyond the immediate penalties. It can impact employment opportunities, professional licenses, housing options, and the individual’s overall reputation.

More importantly, it counts as a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law, which means that if you have any prior felony criminal convictions, your prison or jail time can be doubled if this is your second strike.

If this is your third strike after two previous felony criminal convictions, then your mandatory minimum sentence can even be 25 years to life in state prison.
Given the severity of the penalties, it is crucial to consult with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney if facing charges under PC 422. An experienced attorney can help navigate the legal process, build a strong defense strategy, and work towards minimizing the potential consequences.

You Need An Experienced Bail Bond Agent That Specializes In Felony Making Criminal Threats Defense

The bail bond process for a felony making criminal threats charge is serious and without expert help at your side, as the standard bail for making criminal threats is $50,000 to $100,000. Nonetheless, a bail bonds company and a criminal defense attorney can aid you during this difficult time and help you and your loved one obtain that money.

Legal Defense Against Felony Making Criminal Threats

Prosecutors can’t go after just any person who has temper problems and makes verbal threats against someone. Determining whether it was a real threat or a credible threat is a key point for any defense.

Hence, one of the most common defenses is lack of intent. To be convicted, it must be proven that the individual had the specific intent to cause fear or bodily injury to another person. If the defendant can demonstrate that they did not have the intent to carry it out or that their words were not meant to be taken seriously as a real threat, this defense may be successful.

Another common defense is that the alleged threat was not credible. In order to be considered a criminal threat, the alleged threat must be one that a reasonable person would perceive as serious and likely to be carried out. If the defendant can argue that their words or actions were not credible and did not pose a genuine threat, this defense may be effective.

A third defense that is often used is free speech. While threats are not protected by the First Amendment, if the defendant can argue that their words were merely expressions of frustration, anger, or hyperbole and never intended to cause bodily injury (or anything worse), they may be able to avoid a conviction.

It is important to note that these are just some of the common defenses. The specific defense strategy will depend on the unique circumstances of each case, and it is advisable to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the best course of action.

Free Consultation & Case Review

Do you know someone who has been arrested for felony making criminal threats? Look no further because we are here to help. At Angel Bail Bonds, we work with experienced bail bondsmen and criminal defense attorneys to be your best option, even in cases where you need bail for theft, bail for embezzlement, or bail for making criminal threats. We offer flexible payment plans and affordable rates to make the bail bond process more manageable for you and your loved ones.
If you have any questions about how bail laws and the bail bond process work or if you need assistance helping a loved one in Orange County, San Bernardino, San Diego, or anywhere else in California, don’t hesitate to call us at our bail hotline or contact us at our website, today.

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