2005 Federal Sentencing Guidelines
Chapter 2 - PART A - OFFENSES AGAINST THE
§2A6.1. Threatening or Harassing
(a) Base Offense Level:
(1) 12; or
(2) 6, if the defendant is convicted
of an offense under 47 U.S.C. § 223(a)(1)(C), (D), or (E) that
did not involve a threat to injure a person or property.
(b) Specific Offense Characteristics
(1) If the offense involved any conduct evidencing an intent to carry out
such threat, increase by 6 levels.
(2) If the offense involved more than two threats, increase by 2 levels.
(3) If the offense involved the violation of a court protection order, increase
by 2 levels.
(4) If the offense resulted in (A) substantial disruption of public, governmental,
or business functions or services; or (B) a substantial expenditure of funds
to clean up, decontaminate, or otherwise respond to the offense, increase
by 4 levels.
(5) If (A) subsection (a)(2) and subdivisions (1), (2), (3), and (4) do
not apply, and (B) the offense involved a single instance evidencing little
or no deliberation, decrease by 4 levels.
Statutory Provisions: 18
U.S.C. §§ 32(c), 35(b), 871, 876, 877, 878(a), 879, 1993(a)(7), (8),
2332b(a)(2); 47 U.S.C. § 223(a)(1)(C)-(E); 49 U.S.C. § 46507. For
additional statutory provision(s), see Appendix
A (Statutory Index).
1. Scope of Conduct to Be Considered.— In
determining whether subsections (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) apply, the court
shall consider both conduct that occurred prior to the offense and conduct
that occurred during the offense; however, conduct that occurred prior to the
offense must be substantially and directly connected to the offense, under
the facts of the case taken as a whole. For example, if the defendant engaged
in several acts of mailing threatening letters to the same victim over a period
of years (including acts that occurred prior to the offense), then for purposes
of determining whether subsections (b)(1), (b)(2), and (b)(3) apply, the court
shall consider only those prior acts of threatening the victim that have a
substantial and direct connection to the offense.
2. Grouping.—For purposes
of Chapter Three, Part D (Multiple Counts), multiple counts involving making
a threatening or harassing communication to the same victim are grouped together
under §3D1.2 (Groups of Closely Related Counts). Multiple counts involving
different victims are not to be grouped under §3D1.2.
3. Departure Provisions.—
(A) In General.—The
Commission recognizes that offenses covered by this guideline may include
a particularly wide range of conduct and that it is not possible to include
all of the potentially relevant circumstances in the offense level. Factors
not incorporated in the guideline may be considered by the court in determining
whether a departure from the guidelines is warranted. See Chapter
Five, Part K (Departures).
(B) Multiple Threats or Victims.—If
the offense involved substantially more than two threatening communications
to the same victim or a prolonged period of making harassing communications
to the same victim, or if the offense involved multiple victims, an upward
departure may be warranted.
Background: These statutes
cover a wide range of conduct, the seriousness of which depends upon the defendant’s
intent and the likelihood that the defendant would carry out the threat. The
specific offense characteristics are intended to distinguish such cases.
Historical Note: Effective
November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1993 (see Appendix
C, amendment 480); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix
C, amendment 549); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix
C, amendment 637).