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Threats to Kill

Threatening to kill is the sort of charge that is regularly heard in Victorian Magistrates’ Courts.

This charge is generally laid in situations wherein people get overheated about a certain issue and a person starts yelling out threats at another person. This charge is rarely made alone in Court as it normally arises out of a situation where other criminal offences are also alleged.

Basically, to prove that someone is guilty of this charge, the Police must show that the accused, without lawful excuse, threatened to kill another person or some other person. The accused must have an intent for the other person to fear that the threat would be carried out, or was reckless as to whether that person would so fear.

There can be various defences to this charge. What’s typically used in Court is that the threat did not happen or that the accused did not have the necessary intent.

Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has important implications for you and should be made after proper discussions with a criminal lawyer.

This is legislation that comes from section 20 of the Crimes Act 1958.


Further information on Threats to Kill

Possible Defences

In a Threats to Kill case, the following defences may be applicable to the charge:

  • Mental Impairment
  • Impossibility
  • Lack of Intent
  • Intoxication
  • Factual and Identification Dispute
  • Duress


What penalties can be imposed for a charge of Threats to Kill?

  • Deferral of Sentencing
  • Diversion
  • Without Conviction Order
  • Adjournment of the Charges on Undertaking (Good Behaviour Bond)
  • Fine
  • Community Corrections Order
  • Suspended Prison Sentence
  • Term of Imprisonment


What is the legislation for the charge of Threats to Kill?

The legislation for this offence can be found on section 20 of Crimes Act 1958.

Case Studies

Media Articles

Further Info

You may also visit this page to view sentencing decisions by Victorian County Courts for the offence of Threats to Kill.


Need further legal advice on this charge?
Contact one of our lawyers specialising in cases of Threats to Kill.