New Connecticut Law: Threatening Arrests in Public & Private Schools Can Now Be Felonies

The days of school pranks are long gone. As of 10/1, it can be a felony in Connecticut to verbally or electronically make threats in a public or private school. While you can click here to learn how to fight your Connecticut Threatening arrest, we’ve broken down the new Threatening laws for you below to give you a better understanding of the new amendments and how they affect you and your school-aged children.

Connecticut First and Second Degree Threatening Arrests – What’s the Difference?

The best Connecticut criminal defense attorneys understand you can be arrested in Connecticut for Threatening in the First Degree under C.G.S. § 53a-61aa for threatening to harm a person using a hazardous substance with the intent to terrorize the person and cause evacuation of buildings or places. Violation of threatening in the first degree used to be a D Felony. However, Connecticut lawmakers have recently added a new section to Threatening in the First Degree under C.G.S. § 53a-61aa, now making it a C Felony whenever a person makes threats of harm to a person with the intent to cause an evacuation of any public or private school during school hours or when the building is being used for school sponsored activities.

Second Degree Threatening Can Now Be Charged as a Felony

Threatening in the Second Degree under C.G.S. § 53a-62 prohibits you from making threats of serious physical injury. Getting arrested in Connecticut for Threatening in the Second Degree is usually a Class A Misdemeanor. Under the new October 1, 2016 laws, however, arrests in Wilton, Greenwich, Darien and anywhere else in Connecticut for Threatening in the Second Degree is now a D Felony where someone threatens someone with serious physical injury and the person is in a building or on the grounds of any public or private school during school hours or during any school sponsored activity.

Threatening Conduct on Social Media & Digital Media

As the best Connecticut criminal defense lawyers can explain, you can get arrested in Connecticut for Threatening in the First or Second Degree even if the threats are not communicated verbally. The threats can be electronic, written in a letter, or made via social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat. No matter how they are communicated, however, Connecticut police officers and School Resource Officers (SROs) in Stamford, Darien, Greenwich and Wilton Connecticut are not going to take these threats lightly. In these days of school gun violence, no one is taking any chances anymore. So if you are arrested for First Degree or Second Degree Threatening in Connecticut, then you are risking a permanent felony record.


Automatic Pardons for Minors Convicted of First or Second Degree Threatening in Connecticut

Perhaps in an effort to soften the heavy-handedness of these new Threatening laws, the new Connecticut threatening legislation requires that the Board of Pardons and Paroles grant an absolute and automatic pardon to applicants convicted of First Degree or Second Degree Threatening crimes, as long as the following 5 criteria are satisfied:

  • the person committed the crimes prior to turning 18 years old;
  • at least 3 years have passed from the conviction date;
  • the person had no subsequent juvenile or adult criminal charges pending;
  • the person is over the age of 18 years old at the time of applying for the pardon; and
  • the person has not been convicted of any other juvenile or adult criminal offenses during the 3 year period required to elapse.

This means that if you were convicted of Threatening in the First or Second Degree as a juvenile and 3 years have passed since the time of your conviction, the law now requires that record of your conviction be erased. So if you, or your child, was arrested and convicted of any of the Threatening offenses as a juvenile, then you should contact a top Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut juvenile criminal defense attorney today to get your pardon application started.

Contact a Connecticut Threatening Criminal Lawyer Today

The team of criminal lawyers at the Mark Sherman Law Firm have the experience, compassion and knowledge to fight your arrest for First Degree or Second Degree Threatening. Our team of lawyers will be able to get in front of the charges and start working with the police and prosecutors as soon as possible to get your case resolved as quickly as possible. So if you have been arrested for Threatening in the First or Second Degree, call us today at (203) 358-4700.