Aggressive Criminal

The uptick of terroristic threats among youths

On Behalf of | Juvenile Law |

Terroristic threats once originated exclusively from either organized groups of individuals intent on causing mayhem or those with significant grievances toward a business or high-profile individual. However, the internet has made it easier than ever before for people to loudly vocalize their anger and frustrations with others, possibly by making what seems like a credible threat.

In recent years, there has been an alarming uptick in terroristic threats specifically made by young adults. Many bullied, traumatized or unstable young adults may face criminal prosecution for using exaggerated rhetoric online. Long gone are the days of assuming the best after someone makes a threat.

There was once a time when schools and classmates might assume that someone talking about bringing weapons or explosives to an educational institution or other social gathering was simply being dramatic. These days, the prevalence of school shootings and similar mass violence incidents have led to people taking even the most over-the-top threats more seriously than they would have in the past.

Angry words can lead to criminal consequences

Young adults venting about their frustration at school with some inappropriate language could find that those comments spread rapidly among their peers. Eventually, what they say online or to classmates in a fit of rage might reach parents, school administrators and even law enforcement professionals.

Young adults accused of making terroristic threats get arrested frequently in Texas and elsewhere. For example, a Texas teenager recently got arrested for making bomb threats toward Martinsburg city council in West Virginia. There are also allegations of the same young adult making bomb threats to police departments across the country.

While young adults may believe that others should know their language is hyperbolic or simply an attempt to vent, law enforcement agencies and the courts may treat all threats as a credible risk of violence and could bring charges against the young adults. Especially if a threat interrupts school or other planned events, the risk of prosecution is significant.

Parents concerned about a child recently accused of making terroristic threats may need to help their young adult defend against those allegations. In some cases, young adults might even end up facing charges as adults despite being accused of a crime related to a middle school or high school. They need social, emotional and financial support to properly handle the aftermath of their mistake so that it doesn’t alter their life for the worse forever.