Crimes graves, Droit criminel

Menace de mort et droit criminel

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make threats

Suppose you are at a party with friends. Everything is fine, then you mention a colleague and you say, without realizing it, that he is going to pay for what he has done. Two days later, the police arrive at your home. You are under arrest. You do not understand. What could have happened? This is when the best thing to do is to contact your attorney .

Another hypothetical situation: your neighbor is unbearable. He dumps his garbage on your property, he listens to television at the top of his voice day and night, he doesn’t maintain the front of his residence, etc. He poisons your existence and you can’t take it anymore. Exasperated and exhausted, you threaten to set fire to his house if you see him again on your property.

You have just committed a Criminal Code offence.

Whether you threatened a co-worker, friend, spouse, ex or family member, it is a criminal code offense and you could be arrested by the police. You could be subject to criminal prosecution under section 264.1 of the Criminal Code and be accused of having uttered threats, either to cause death or bodily harm, or to burn or damage movable or immovable property.

Definition of death threat

Section 264.1 of the Criminal Code prohibits transmitting a threat to another person by any means. However, this article only covers three types of threats: threats of death or of causing bodily harm, threats of destruction of property and finally, threats of injuring, poisoning or killing a domestic animal. Conversely, threatening a person with legal action is not punishable under the Criminal Code.

mobile death threat

Jurisprudence has defined the notion of threat as being the “manifestation by which one marks someone with one’s anger, with the intention of making him fear the harm being prepared for him. »

We are talking here about words that will arouse fear or intimidate the victim. Uttering a death threat with the intention that it be taken seriously necessarily implies the intention to intimidate the victim or instil fear in him or her. The reverse is also true: the intention to intimidate the victim or instill fear in him by uttering a death threat necessarily implies the intention that it be taken seriously.

Followed by an act or not

A death threat does not have to be followed by an act to be considered. However, joking words cannot support such an accusation. In any case, the Crown will have to demonstrate this in court, for the accused to be found guilty of uttering threats against the victim.

One example is the fact that the courts have found that threatening a woman with sexual assault constitutes a threat to cause serious bodily harm. Because a sexual assault always leaves significant psychological sequelae in the victim, in addition to the possible physical sequelae.

Persons targeted by the threat

For a charge of uttering threats to be laid, it is not necessary that the accused himself uttered the threats to the victim. Indeed, the Criminal Code provides that this threat can be made through a third party. It is not necessary that the victim of the threat has received the message or that he fears for his safety, for the accusation to be made. As soon as the threat is spoken or written, it is likely to lead to an arrest.

Moreover, it is not necessary that the threat made is aimed at a specific individual. It can even target a group of people, insofar as this group is identifiable.

Applicable test

The applicable test for determining whether a threat has indeed been made within the meaning of the Criminal Code was developed in the Supreme Court’s decision in McCraw.

The nature of the threat must be assessed objectively. Thus, the terms used by the accused must be viewed through the eyes of a reasonable person placed in that position. Obviously, the terms used must be analyzed throughout the conversation. There can be no question of isolating the sentences from the context in which they were pronounced. It is also necessary to take into account the particular situation in which the victim finds himself.

To find an offense of uttering threats, the following question must be asked: « Considered objectively, in the context of all the words written or spoken and having regard to the person to whom they are directed, the terms constitute a threat (…) to a reasonable person”?

This test ensures that the interpretation of the threats made is not based solely on the personal interpretation of the victim, which may be colored by their particular character traits.

Possible defenses

The Crown must show that the accused had the intention to threaten the victim in order to frighten or intimidate him. The accused may thus attempt to raise doubts about the evidence provided by the Crown and testify by denying having uttered such words.

Remember this: the fact that the accused did not want to carry out his threat will never constitute a defence. On this subject, it is necessary to read the article relating to the jurisprudence which concerns the threat of death.

Possible penalties

With respect to threats of death or causing bodily harm, if the accused is prosecuted for a summary offense, he is liable to a maximum of 18 months in prison. On the other hand, if he is accused under an indictable offence, he will then be liable to a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.

With respect to threats to destroy property and to injure, poison or kill an animal, if the accused is prosecuted for a summary offense, he is liable to a maximum of 6 months in prison and/or a maximum fine of $2,000. On the other hand, if he has been charged with an indictable offence, he will then be liable to a maximum prison sentence of 2 years.

If you are in such a situation, do not panic. Several means of defense are available to you. We can cite as an example the joke. If you were joking, you will have to show that it was said in a frivolous way and that you did not intend to cause real fear. Sometimes victims don’t report the right words. It may be a matter of interpretation.

The courts must try each defendant within a reasonable time. That said, a delay of 6 to 12 months is to be expected before obtaining a trial. Time frames will depend on where the arrested individual is charged.


It is very easy to say words that you do not really mean, without first thinking about the unfortunate consequences that can follow. It is often said that you should turn your tongue seven times in your mouth before speaking, and it is good advice to follow.

If you are in this situation, consult a criminal lawyer who will guide you through the charge before it is too late. Remember that this text is intended to be informative and can in no way replace the opinion and advice of a professional.

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0 thoughts on “Menace de mort et droit criminel

  1. abgrall dit :

    Mon voisin et son fils m’ont traitée de connapasse à plusieurss reprises et le père m’a dit ququ’il allait me déchirer
    Que puis je faire

  2. Antoine Théberge dit :

    J’ai 17 ans. Il y a peu de temps moi et mes amis on parlaient sur skype. On s’ennuiyaient un peu. Une de mes amies Voulu inviter une personne qu’elle connaissait dans la conversation. Je ne connais pas cette personne. Vu que nous sommes jeune, l’immaturité a vite pris possession de la conversation et sans m’en rendre vraiment compte, j’ai fait une menace de 5 mots : (nomdelapersonne), je vais te tuer. Une personne l’as dite vocalement et je l’ai retranscrit sur le t’chat. Bien sur c’était en blague mais la personne en tant que tel ne le sais pas elle.. Elle a donc appeler la police mais il ne savent pas encore que c’est moi vu que J’étais sous un autre nom. Quelles sont les options qui s’offrent a moi ? Je suis vraiment stressé et j’ai très peur d’être emprisonné pour une conversation inutile et immature.

    1. Julie Couture dit :

      Pour être déclaré coupable d’avoir proféré des menaces, la poursuite doit prouver que vous aviez l’intention de faire en sorte que vos propos soient perçus comme visant à intimider ou susciter la crainte ou à être pris au sérieux. Pour ce qui est des options qui s’offrent à vous, vous pouvez toujours communiquer avec nous au 514-AVOCATE afin de prendre un rendez-vous. Nous pourrons alors vous conseiller adéquatement et vous décrire les différentes situations qui peuvent survenir dans votre situation.

  3. marie-france Meunier dit :

    J’aimerais savoir svp si j’ai le droit a une aide quelconque svp. Mon ex mari (séparé / divorcé depuis 10 ans) mais il a la garde d’une de nos filles qui a 15 ans, m’envoie depuis quelques temps sur mon cellulaire des injures et des menaces (mais pas de mort) du style si tu ne fais pas ca ou ca, je te promet que tu n’as pas fini avec moi!!! Dites moi que puis je faire svp? quels sont mes recours svp?? A noter qu’il est a nouveau séparé et qu’il fait des menaces a sa 2ieme ex conjointe.
    J’ai peur car ma fille demeure avec lui… Je n’ai pas peur de violence physique, mais elle ne veut pas porter plainte contre son pere…….. je fais quoi moi la??? merci

  4. Mélanie Hubert dit :

    J’enseigne à de jeunes autistes sans déficience. Un de mes élèves menace régulièrement de me tuer. Il dit qu’il me retrouvera quand il sera grand, qu’il prendra un couteau et me tranchera la tête, fait le geste de me couper la tête, dit que je veux le tuer, dit qu’il a déjà tué des enfants en les étranglant, que plus tard il souhaite être criminel et tuer les humains en infectant les gens avec des virus. Il dit jouer à faire semblant de tuer des gens dans sa tête. Bref, je trouve préoccupant une telle fixation sur la mort et la violence. Comment sensibiliser les parents qui sont russes aux conséquences possibles avec l’âge à de tels propos.

  5. Maestro dit :

    Chacun fait ce qu’il veut, la vengerance est un plat qui se mange froid, c’est ce qui est arrivé à quelqu’un de Bons en Chablais en 1991, à qui on a fait péter une bouteille de butane il a fait de longues années de greffes, comme ça il a payé ses magouilles.
    2017 certains chef d’entreprises et hommes politiques vont voir la renaissance d’action directe, ceux qui s’imaginent au pouvoir risque d’avoir de sacrées surprises.

  6. Nicole Gaulin dit :

    Qui peut porter plainte dans le cas d’une menace quelconque? Est-ce qu’il faut que ce soit la victime ou une tierce partie peut le faire pour elle.

  7. Clé dit :

    Bonjour, je suis mineur. Il n’y a pas longtemps j’ai dit à un ami qui m’harcelait: tu vas crever.
    Le lendemain, il m’a dit qu’il est allé porter plainte avec ses parents.
    Je ne le pensais pas lorsque je lui ai dit ça car j’étais sur le coup de la colère.
    Je lui ai écrit une lettre d’excuses mais il s’en fout complètement et ne veux pas la lire.
    J’ai peur et je ne sais pas comment faire.
    Le problème, c’est que je le vois tous les jours au collège.
    Si quelqu’un peut m’aider, je le remercie.