If you have any questions about fighting a threatening arrest in Connecticut, contact one of our attorneys at (203) 221-3100.

First vs. Second Degree Threatening

In Connecticut, you can face arrest for Threatening in the First Degree according to C.G.S. § 53a-61aa. This charge applies if you threaten to harm someone using a hazardous substance with the intent to cause fear and evacuate buildings or locations. Initially classified as a D Felony, this offense has been updated by Connecticut legislators. A new provision under C.G.S. § 53a-61aa now elevates this offense to a C Felony when threats are made to cause the evacuation of any public or private school during school hours or during school-sponsored activities held in the building.

Second Degree Threatening under C.G.S. § 53a-62 in Connecticut criminalizes the act of making serious physical injury threats. Typically, such offenses lead to a Class A Misdemeanor charge upon arrest. However, as per the updated laws effective October 1, 2016, any Threatening in the Second Degree where serious physical injury is threatened against someone in a school building or on school grounds during school hours or activities is now classified as a D Felony.

Threatening Online & On Social Media

In Connecticut, you can be arrested for First or Second Degree Threatening even if the threats are not spoken aloud. These threats can be conveyed through electronic means, written correspondence, or social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Snapchat. Regardless of the method used, law enforcement officers and School Resource Officers (SROs) in Connecticut treat these threats seriously. In today’s climate of school-related gun violence, every threat is taken seriously, and there is no tolerance for any potential risks. Being arrested for First or Second Degree Threatening in Connecticut could result in a permanent felony record.

Automatic Pardons for Minors Convicted of Threatening

In an attempt to mitigate the severity of these stringent new laws, the revised threatening legislation in Connecticut mandates that the Board of Pardons and Paroles must automatically grant an unconditional pardon to individuals convicted of First or Second Degree Threatening offenses, provided they meet the following five criteria:

  1. The offense occurred before the individual turned 18 years old.
  2. At least three years have elapsed since the date of conviction.
  3. There have been no subsequent juvenile or adult criminal charges pending.
  4. The individual is over 18 years old at the time of applying for the pardon.
  5. No other juvenile or adult criminal offenses have been committed during the three-year waiting period.

This means that if a person was convicted of First or Second Degree Threatening as a juvenile and three years have passed since the conviction, the law now mandates the expungement of their record. Therefore, if you or your child has been arrested and convicted of any of these offenses as a juvenile, it is advisable to contact a reputable juvenile criminal defense attorney promptly to begin the pardon application process.

Maya Murphy P.C. has proudly been included in the 2024 Edition of Best Law Firms®, ranked among the top firms in the nation. In addition, Managing Partner Joseph C. Maya has been selected to The Best Lawyers in America® 2024 for his work in Employment Law and Education Law in Connecticut. Recognition in Best Lawyers® is awarded to firms and attorneys who demonstrate excellence in the industry and is widely regarded by both clients and legal professionals as a significant honor.

Our firm in Westport, Connecticut serves clients with legal assistance all over the state, including the towns of Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Bethel, Branford, Bridgeport, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Darien, Derby, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Middlebury, Milford, Monroe, Naugatuck, New Canaan, New Fairfield, New Haven, Newton, North Branford, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Oxford, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Shelton, Sherman, Southbury, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Waterbury, West Haven, Weston, Westport, Wilton, and Woodbridge. In addition to assisting clients in Connecticut, our firm handles education law matters in New York as well.

If you have any questions or would like to speak to an attorney about a legal matter, please contact Joseph C. Maya and the other experienced attorneys at Maya Murphy, P.C. at (203) 221-3100 or to schedule a free initial consultation today.