Once called 'terrorist threats,' criminal threats can be a dangerously simple and far-reaching offense that can potentially effect anyone and everyone. One needs not look further than the definition in the law.
Someone can commit this charge by placing someone in a mental state of reasonably sustained fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family, where that threat is specific and unequivocal, and communicated either verbally, written, or electronically.
Also, the law does not require the person making the threat to have the ability to carry it through. Thus, in a heated moment of anger, anyone can say something frightening to another person where they not only do not mean it, but can't even accomplish it!
A criminal threat charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony. More importantly, if charged as a felony, the crime is considered a strike under the three strikes law.