Criminal Offenses

Threats and Extortion

SECTION 11-42-4

§ 11-42-4. Threats to public officials.

(a) Whoever knowingly and willfully delivers or conveys, directly or indirectly, a verbal or written threat to take the life of, or to inflict bodily harm upon, a public official or a member of his or her immediate family because of the performance or nonperformance of some public duty; because of hostility of the person making the threat toward the status or position of the public official; or because of some other factor related to the official's public existence, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be imprisoned for not more than five (5) years, or fined not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both.

(b) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Public official" means a person who is elected or appointed to office in accordance with the constitution, a statute, or a city or town charter, or who is a judge, magistrate, assistant attorney general, special assistant attorney general, or law enforcement officer, or in the case of an elective office, any person who has filed the required documents for nomination or election to that office or who is appointed by the governor to serve as the director or his or her designee of a state department that is established and the qualifications and duties of which are prescribed by statute to discharge a public duty for the state of Rhode Island;

(2) "Immediate family" means a public official's spouse, child, or children.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1984, ch. 248, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 83, § 1; P.L. 1997, ch. 299, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 44, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 46, § 1.)