Criminal Threat Elements In California

In People v. Toledo (2001) 26 Cal.4th 221, the California Supreme Court divided the criminal threat elements into five categories: "(1) that the defendant 'willfully threatened to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person; (2) that the defendant made the threat 'with the specific intent that the statement . . . is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out; (3) that the threat--which may be 'made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device'--was 'on its face and under the circumstances in which it was made, . . . so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat; (4) that the threat actually caused the person threatened 'to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety; (5) that the threatened person's fear was 'reasonable under the circumstances.'"