Can I be convicted of disturbing the peace for threatening to shoot myself in the head?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I be convicted of disturbing the peace for threatening to shoot myself in the head?

I threatened to blow my brains out as I was walking away from and in a different room than my mother. She said,

Asked on November 30, 2017 under Criminal Law, Nebraska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be convicted of disturbing the peace for this. Here is the law on disturbing the peace in your state, from the Nebraska Rev. Statuts:
Disturbing the peace; penalty.
(1) Any person who shall intentionally disturb the peace and quiet of any person, family, or neighborhood commits the offense of disturbing the peace.
Stating you are gong to "blow your brains out" is an intentional act--it is something that you only do or say on purpose (it's not an accident, like tripping while holding hot coffee and spilling it on someone). It disturbed the peace and quiet of your family (your mother and/or sister): it meets the statutory definition of the offense. That you were not taking you medication would not be a defense, because the law has repeatedly held that when someone with a mental illness who was on medication fails to take it--so fails to do the thing that will moderate his/her behavior--he or she is liable for the consequences of his/her failure to take a reasonable step to protect others from the effects of his/her illness.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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