Threats Against Schools

On May 12, 2020, Representative Andrew Stoddard’s bill went into effect to officially make threats against a school in Utah a crime. The law, as it was previously, did not directly address threats against schools.

Under Utah law, it is a crime to place a threat of violence against preschools, elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, or any institution of higher education. Under this law, an individual is guilty of making a threat against a school if they threaten bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, whether in person or through electronics. Individuals can also be found guilty if the alleged perpetrator acts with intent to:

  • Disrupt the regular school schedule or influence the conduct of students, employees, or the general public
  • Prevent or interrupt the occupancy of the school or a vehicle used by the school
  • Intimidate students or employees of the school
  • Cause an emergency agency to respond to the school

As social media and the use of electronics continue to become more popular, the use of electronics is a more common way to make threats of violence to a school.

Utah Threats Against Schools Attorney

If you are being investigated for allegedly committing a threat against a school, your future is on the line. We advise you to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Utah that can offer you skilled legal representation. During an overwhelming time such as this, contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law. Defense attorney Susanne Gustin has 30 years of experience defending clients accused of making threats against schools.

Do not wait much longer to contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 for a free consultation. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law services clients in Salt Lake City, West Valley City, West Jordan, Sandy, Taylorsville, South Jordan, and Riverton.

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Information Center

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Threats Against Schools in Utah

Class A Threats Against Schools

It is a class A misdemeanor if the offender threatened the use of a weapon of mass destruction or acted with the intent to disrupt the regular school schedule.

Class B Threats Against Schools

It is a class B misdemeanor if the offender threatens to prevent or interrupt the school’s occupancy or a school’s vehicle. For example, if the threat prevents students from occupying a school bus, it may result in a class B misdemeanor.

Additionally, it is a class B misdemeanor if the individual accused of committing the threats against the school is a minor, has made a threat against a school, and is enrolled in the school that the threat was against.

Class C Threats Against Schools

It is a class C misdemeanor if the offender’s threats against the school result in public or volunteer service responding to the alleged threat.

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What Are The Penalties For Threats Against Schools?

A threat against a school conviction will likely result in a misdemeanor charge. In Utah, a misdemeanor may result in up to one year in jail. However, the class of misdemeanor may result in different penalties. In all situations, someone convicted of threats against schools may be required to pay restitution to any federal, state, or local unit that incurred expenses due to the threat.

Class A Misdemeanor

A Class A misdemeanor may result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.

Class B Misdemeanor

A Class B misdemeanor may result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Class C Misdemeanor

A Class C misdemeanor may result in up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $750.

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Penalties For Minors

If a minor is found guilty of committing a threat against a school, they will be referred to the juvenile court system, and they will have fewer penalties assessed upon them. Additionally, the minor must attend mental counseling through a state or local health department.

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What Are The Defenses To Threats Against Schools?

Various defenses are available to someone charged with threats against a school. However, the statute affirmatively states that it is not a defense that someone did not attempt to carry out or was incapable of carrying out the threats of violence.

  • Not a real threat
  • No intent
  • Statute of Limitations

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Statute Of Limitations

The statute of limitation varies depending on the specific crime; however, most crimes that result in a misdemeanor have a statute of limitations of two years. The statute of limitations requires the state to begin criminal prosecution within the set timeframe. The statute of limitations begins to run the moment the threat occurs.

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Additional Resources

National Threat Assessment Center – This website provides more information about active threats against schools and an analysis of such threats. – This website provides information and articles on how to create a safer school system.

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Utah Threats Against Schools Lawyer | Salt Lake County, UT

If you are being investigated for a school shooting threat in Salt Lake City, UT, you need a well-trained attorney who has years of experience in criminal law. The accomplished criminal defense lawyers at Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law have successfully handled countless school shooting cases and can fight to obtain the best possible outcome for your case.

Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law serves clients in Salt Lake City County, Davis County, Midvale, Riverton, Taylorsville, Clearfield, Layton, and neighboring areas. Call (801) 243-2814 to schedule a free consultation today.

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