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SOHI LAW GROUPUttering Threats Charges

Certain types of threatening behaviour are prohibited in Canada. Threatening charges are a common part of a criminal lawyer's trial practise. The legislation was originally intended to combat organised crime and threatening behaviour. Threatening someone has become a very common charge in both the domestic and public spheres.

Uttering Threats Charges

People frequently fail to consider the consequences of making a threat. It is illegal in Canada to intentionally threaten another person with death or bodily harm. It is also illegal to threaten to cause harm to another person’s property or animals.

The Crown Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused made the aforementioned threats to any individual. A finding of guilt does not require that the actual intended recipient of the threat be aware of the threat. For example, a husband could tell his wife that he was going to murder her mother, which would be illegal.

The threat can be delivered in any way, including by voice, email, Facebook message, telephone, and so on. Gestures can also be interpreted as illegal threats (i.e., Making a gun pointing gesture at someone depending on the context and circumstances could be considered a threat for criminal purposes). A threat is defined as a declaration of hostile intent or a determination to punish, lose, pain, or injure another person.

However, not every declaration of hostile intent is a threat. A distinction must be made between a threat and a promise, and the mere observation that particularly unpleasant events will occur. For example, the phrase “you will die” could be interpreted as a threat or as an accurate reflection of another’s mortality.


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