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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Criminal Defense / What Happens When You Threaten a Federal Judge in Florida?

What Happens When You Threaten a Federal Judge in Florida?


If you’re asking yourself what happens when you threaten a federal judge in Florida, the answer is quite simple: You will face serious consequences. This is considered a serious federal offense, and it is something that the courts take extremely seriously. The reason for this serious approach is somewhat obvious. Federal judges represent an important part of our legal system, and if their decisions can be influenced by threats, our entire democracy is at risk. Recently, a Florida man decided to threaten a judge – and the result of this behavior should be a lesson to us all.

Inmate at Santa Rosa Correctional Facility Gets 37 Months for Threatening Judge 

On January 12th of 2023, it was reported that an inmate at the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution had been sentenced to 37 months for threatening a federal judge. Specifically, he was convicted of “mailing threatening communications to a federal judge.” The incident occurred in 2021 when a judge in the Middle District of Florida told police that he had received a letter that included “violent threats” involving murder. These threats were directed at both the judge and his wife.

The letter was signed as “M.S.” – and police used only initials when reporting this incident in an attempt to protect the person’s identity. When police interviewed this individual, he denied making any such threats. The FBI subsequently collected fingerprint and DNA samples from the letter and determined that this individual was telling the truth – someone else had written the letter. Finally, the FBI compared writing samples and eventually discovered the real author of the letter – another inmate in the same prison.

It was not revealed why the inmate chose to sign the letter with a different name – someone he clearly knew from inside the prison. However, it may have been a misguided attempt to frame the individual – perhaps to get revenge for a dispute within the prison. On the other hand, it was determined that the federal judge had dismissed a civil case filed by the author of the letter – suggesting that he was seeking revenge against the judge. Whether he was attempting to intimidate the judge, frame a fellow inmate, or both, these attempts obviously failed – and the real author of the letter experienced serious consequences. This offense falls under 18 U.S. Code § 876, and it can lead to a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Find a Qualified Federal Crime Defense Attorney in Florida 

If you have recently threatened a federal judge in Florida, you might consider getting in touch with a qualified, experienced Fort Myers criminal defense attorney. It may be especially beneficial to work alongside a law firm that has specific experience with federal crimes – such as Foley & Wilson. With our help, you can clear up any misunderstanding about threats made to judges or any other public officials. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective defense strategy.




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