Florida Inmate Sentenced to Additional Prison Sentence for Threatening a Judge

July 17, 2023 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Violent Crimes

Threatening to harm or kill another person is taken very seriously in Florida and can result in harsh criminal penalties. Even if you have already been convicted of a crime, you can receive additional sentencing for threatening a legal official such as a judge.

In a recent Florida case, a man serving time for a drug trafficking sentence has just been sentenced to additional time in prison due to threatening a judge. This page will provide the case details along with relative information on the charges.

Case Details

Curtis Brown, 35, was initially sentenced to nearly three decades in prison after being convicted of multiple drug charges. The Florida Department of Corrections had his initial release from prison set for 2034.

According to court documents, Brown had been serving a sentence for drug trafficking in the Raiford Florida State prison when he sent a handwritten letter to the federal judge’s chamber in November 2021. Brown’s letter stated how the judge’s recent refusal to grant him warranted relief left him no choice but to use his federal stimulus money to pay-for-hire someone to kill the judge.

The letter also discussed how Brown would settle for killing one of the judge’s family members if he failed to reach the judge in time. Brown then signed the letter, with a message underneath his signature warning that “it could get worse” if the judge did not keep the letter between them. However, threats against legal officials are against the law in Florida.

Brown pleaded guilty to threatening to murder a federal judge in retaliation for performing his official duties and mailing the written threat. On June 27, 2023, Brown was sentenced in the Jacksonville federal court to an additional year and three months in prison.

Charges for Written Threats Florida

Florida Statute Section 836.10 explains that it is unlawful for any person to send, post, or transmit a writing or other record, in any way that may be viewed by another person, when such writing makes a threat to:

  • Kill or do bodily harm to another person; or
  • Conduct a mass shooting or act of terrorism.

Getting charged with a written threat can result in a second-degree felony. In Florida, the penalties for a second-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.

Threats to an Official in Florida

Florida Statute Section 836.12 explains that any person who threatens any of the following officials with serious bodily harm or death can result in a first-degree misdemeanor:

  • Law enforcement officer
  • State attorney
  • Assistant state attorney
  • Firefighter
  • Judge
  • Elected official
  • Family member of any of the above

The penalties for a first-degree misdemeanor include up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

However, a person who commits a second or subsequent offense under this law can face a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Contact a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you threaten another person by word or written threat, you may be facing criminal charges. Even if you did not act out the threat. Threatening another person with violence or death can result in steep fines, probation, imprisonment, or all the above. As mentioned in the example case above, threatening a judge or legal official when you are already in trouble can result in a lengthier sentence.

If you need criminal defense in Florida, contact Pumphrey Law Firm. Don Pumphrey and his team have years of experience representing those in need of legal defense. To receive a free consultation regarding your case, contact our office at (850) 681-7777 or leave us a message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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