Threat

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Threats can be subtle or overt. Actor Justus D. Barnes, in The Great Train Robbery

A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person.[1][2] Intimidation is widely observed in animal behavior (particularly in a ritualized form) chiefly in order to avoid the unnecessary physical violence that can lead to physical damage or the death of both conflicting parties. A threat is considered an act of coercion.

Some of the more common types of threats forbidden by law are those made with an intent to obtain a monetary advantage or to compel a person to act against their will. In most US states, it is an offense to threaten to (1) use a deadly weapon on another person; (2) injure another's person or property; or (3) injure another's reputation.[3]

Law[edit]

Brazil[edit]

In Brazil, the crime of threatening someone, defined as a threat to cause unjust and grave harm, is punishable by a fine or three months to one year in prison, as described in the Brazilian Penal Code, article 147. Brazilian [jurisprudence] does not treat as a crime a threat that was proffered in a heated discussion.

Germany[edit]

The German Strafgesetzbuch § 241 punishes the crime of threat with a prison term for up to one year or a fine. Even if someone, against his better judgment, feigns to another person that the realization of a serious criminal offense directed against him or a person close to him is imminent, shall be similarly punished.[4]

United States[edit]

In the United States, federal law criminalizes certain true threats transmitted via the U.S. mail[5] or in interstate commerce. It also criminalizes threatening the government officials of the United States. Some U.S. states criminalize cyberbullying. Threats of bodily harm are considered assault.

State of Texas[edit]

In the state of Texas, it is not necessary that the person threatened actually perceive a threat for a threat to exist for legal purposes.[6][7]

True threat[edit]

A true threat is a threatening communication that can be prosecuted under the law. It is distinct from a threat that is made in jest. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that true threats are not protected under the U.S. Constitution based on three justifications: preventing fear, preventing the disruption that follows from that fear, and diminishing the likelihood that the threatened violence will occur.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "threat". Oxford English Dictionary (Online ed.). Oxford University Press. (Subscription or participating institution membership required.)
  2. ^ "threat". Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  3. ^ Phelps and Lehman, Shirelle and Jeffrey (2005). West's Encyclopedia of American Law. Detroit: Gale Virtual Reference Library. p. 27.
  4. ^ "Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB)". Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  5. ^ 18 U.S.C. § 876
  6. ^ Olivias v. State of Texas, 203 S.W. 3d 341 (Tex. Crim. App. 2006) Citing McGowan v. State of Texas, 664 S.W. 2d 355 at 357 (Tex. Crim. App. 1984). https://law.justia.com/cases/texas/court-of-criminal-appeals/2006/pd-1936-04-7.html
  7. ^ 2 Wayne R. LaFave, Substantive Criminal Law §16.3(b) at 568 (2d ed. 2003).
  8. ^ Toward an Improved True Threat Doctrine for Student Speakers; Stanner, Andrew P., vol. 81, N.Y.U. L. Rev., 2006, p. 385