Threats to Kill- s 20

Jul 3, 2024 | Jay & Co

By Fulvio Biondi

What are Threats to Kill?

“Threats to Kill” is found under s20 of the Crimes Act 1958 and is stated as follows:

A person who, without lawful excuse, makes to another person a threat to kill that other person or any other person —

  • (a) intending that that other person would fear the threat would be carried out;


  • (b) being reckless as to whether or not that other person would fear the threat would be carried out —

is guilty of an indictable offence.


What is the penalty?

The charge of “Threats to Kill” can carry serious consequences depending on the severity, the penalty for this offence is Level 5 imprisonment that carries a maximum of 10 years.


I have been charged with Threats to Kill, what should I do?

  • Due to the seriousness of this crime, it is important that you seek the advice of an experienced criminal lawyer, who can help you navigate your options. If pleading not guilty, it is imperative that you begin creating a thorough legal defence.
  • The prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you have committed the offence by using the elements in s20 above.
  • The communication of threats can come in various forms, with different levels of seriousness. The elements of this offence are circumstantial to your case, and will be judged with the submissions created by your legal team on your behalf.
  • Give yourself the best opportunity for a good outcome, the team here at Jay and Co strive to give proficient and fair legal representation. We have dealt with countless criminal matters involving summary and indictable offences, so don’t hesitate to give us a call.