Washington, DC asked in Criminal Law for Maryland

Q: What proof needs to be met to get a conviction on a threat of mass violence charge?

Has to be more than 1 or 2 people claiming a person made a threat?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The offense is described as follows: “A person may not knowingly threaten to commit or threaten to cause to be committed a crime of violence … that would place five or more people at substantial risk of death or serious physical injury … if the threat were carried out.”

Any competent evidence that convinces a judge or a jury beyond a reasonable doubt of the guilt of the defendant is sufficient. Eyewitness testimony of someone who heard the defendant make the threat, written or electronic communications proven to have been authored or sent by the defendant, etc. The quantity of evidence is irrelevant. The credibility and quality of the evidence is what counts.

Matthew J. Bronson agrees with this answer

Eric Todd Kirk
Eric Todd Kirk
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: If 5 or more people are evacuated, or removed to safe areas because of the threat, the State may be able to prove the case. It is not required that all 5 actually hear the threat directly, or that any of them hear the threat directly.

Matthew J. Bronson agrees with this answer

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