Penal Code 422 is commonly refereed to as criminal threats. This crime is a "wobbler" which means that the district attorney has the ability to charge this crime as either a misdemeanor or a felony. A felony conviction under this statute will result in a strike, meaning for every future felony conviction the degree of punishment will be greatly enhanced. An enhanced sentence as a result of a prior strike means that any future felony sentenced will be doubled and that individual will be required to serve 80% of their time. For instance, you are convicted of a felony 422 and lets say eight years later you are charged with simple possession of narcotics, instead of being subject to 16 months, 2 years or 3 years, your exposure would double to 32 months, 4 years and 6 years. In addition, you will be required to serve 80% of your sentence.
Penal Code 422: Threats to Commit Crime Resulting in Death or Great Bodily Injury
(a) Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device is to be taken as a threat, even if there is not intent to actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.
(b) For purposes of this section, "immediate family" means any spouse, whether by marriage or not, parent, child , any person related by consanguinity or affinity within the second degree, or any other person who regularly resides in the household, or who, within the prior six months, regularly resided in the household.
(c) "Electronic communication device" includes, but is not limited to, telephones, cellular telephones, computers, video recorders, fax machines, or pagers. "Electronic communication" has the same meaning as the term defined is Subsection 12 of Section of Section 2510 of Title 18 of the United States Code.