A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person.Intimidation is a tactic used between conflicting parties to make the other timid or psychologically insecure for coercion or control. The act of intimidation for coercion is considered as a threat.
Threatening or threatening behavior (or criminal threatening behavior) is the crime of intentionally or knowingly putting another person in fear of bodily injury. "Threat of harm generally involves a perception of injury...physical or mental damage...act or instance of injury, or a material and detriment or loss to a person."
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.
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.
The German Strafgesetzbuch § 241 punishes the crime of threat with a prison term for up to three years or a fine.
In the United States, federal law criminalizes certain true threats transmitted via the U.S. mailor 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.
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.
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.
An assault is the illegal act of causing physical harm or unwanted physical contact to another person, or, in some legal definitions, the threat or attempt to do so. It is both a crime and a tort and, therefore, may result in criminal prosecution, civil liability, or both. Additionally, assault is a criminal act in which a person intentionally causes fear of physical harm or offensive contact to another person. Assault can be committed with or without a weapon and can range from physical violence to threats of violence. Assault is frequently referred to as an attempt to commit battery, which is the deliberate use of physical force against another person. The deliberate inflicting of fear, apprehension, or terror is another definition of assault that can be found in several legal systems. Depending on the severity of the offense, assault may result in a fine, imprisonment, or even death.
Robbery is the crime of taking or attempting to take anything of value by force, threat of force, or by use of fear. According to common law, robbery is defined as taking the property of another, with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property, by means of force or fear; that is, it is a larceny or theft accomplished by an assault. Precise definitions of the offence may vary between jurisdictions. Robbery is differentiated from other forms of theft by its inherently violent nature ; whereas many lesser forms of theft are punished as misdemeanors, robbery is always a felony in jurisdictions that distinguish between the two. Under English law, most forms of theft are triable either way, whereas robbery is triable only on indictment. The word "rob" came via French from Late Latin words of Germanic origin, from Common Germanic raub "theft".
The right of self-defense is the right for people to use reasonable or defensive force, for the purpose of defending one's own life (self-defense) or the lives of others, including – in certain circumstances – the use of deadly force.
Deadly force, also known as lethal force, is the use of force that is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death to another person. In most jurisdictions, the use of deadly force is justified only under conditions of extreme necessity as a last resort, when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed.
In jurisprudence, duress or coercion refers to a situation whereby a person performs an act as a result of violence, threat, or other pressure against the person. Black's Law Dictionary defines duress as "any unlawful threat or coercion used... to induce another to act [or not act] in a manner [they] otherwise would not [or would]". Duress is pressure exerted upon a person to coerce that person to perform an act they ordinarily would not perform. The notion of duress must be distinguished both from undue influence in the civil law. In criminal law, duress and necessity are different defenses.
Intimidation is a legal wrong which usually involves deterring or coercing an individual by threat of violence. It is in various jurisdictions a crime and a civil wrong (tort). Intimidation is similar to menacing, coercion, terrorizing and assault in the traditional sense.
Breach of the peace or disturbing the peace, is a legal term used in constitutional law in English-speaking countries and in a public order sense in the several jurisdictions of the United Kingdom. It is a form of disorderly conduct.
Transferred intent is a legal doctrine that holds that, when the intention to harm one individual inadvertently causes a second person to be hurt instead, the perpetrator is still held responsible. To be held legally responsible, a court typically must demonstrate that the perpetrator had criminal intent, that is, that they knew or should have known that another would be harmed by their actions and wanted this harm to occur. For example, if a murderer intends to kill John, but accidentally kills George instead, the intent is transferred from John to George, and the killer is held to have had criminal intent.
Assault occasioning grievous bodily harm is a term used in English criminal law to describe the severest forms of battery. It refers to two offences that are created by sections 18 and 20 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861. The distinction between these two sections is the requirement of specific intent for section 18; the offence under section 18 is variously referred to as "wounding with intent" or "causing grievous bodily harm with intent", whereas the offence under section 20 is variously referred to as "unlawful wounding", "malicious wounding" or "inflicting grievous bodily harm".
Malice aforethought is the "premeditation" or "predetermination" required as an element of some crimes in some jurisdictions and a unique element for first-degree or aggravated murder in a few. Insofar as the term is still in use, it has a technical meaning that has changed substantially over time.
Virginia v. Black, 538 U.S. 343 (2003), was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in which the Court held, 5–4, that any state statute banning cross burning on the basis that it constitutes prima facie evidence of intent to intimidate is a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Such a provision, the Court argued, blurs the distinction between proscribable "threats of intimidation" and the Ku Klux Klan's protected "messages of shared ideology". In the case, three defendants were convicted in two separate cases of violating a Virginia statute against cross burning. However, cross-burning can be a criminal offense if the intent to intimidate is proven. It was argued by former Solicitor General of Virginia, William Hurd.
Assault occasioning actual bodily harm is a statutory offence of aggravated assault in England and Wales, Northern Ireland, the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Hong Kong and the Solomon Islands. It has been abolished in the Republic of Ireland and in South Australia, but replaced with a similar offence.
Common assault is an offence in English law. It is committed by a person who causes another person to apprehend the immediate use of unlawful violence by the defendant. In England and Wales, the penalty and mode of trial for this offence is provided by section 39 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Duress in English law is a complete common law defence, operating in favour of those who commit crimes because they are forced or compelled to do so by the circumstances, or the threats of another. The doctrine arises not only in criminal law but also in civil law, where it is relevant to contract law and trusts law.
A death threat is a threat, often made anonymously, by one person or a group of people to kill another person or group of people. These threats are often designed to intimidate victims in order to manipulate their behaviour, in which case a death threat could be a form of coercion. For example, a death threat could be used to dissuade a public figure from pursuing a criminal investigation or an advocacy campaign.
A terroristic threat is a threat to commit a crime of violence or a threat to cause bodily injury to another person and terrorization as the result of the proscribed conduct. Several U.S. states have enacted statutes which impose criminal liability for "terroristic threatening" or "making a terroristic threat."
Menacing or brandishing is a criminal offense in many U.S. states generally defined as displaying a weapon with the intent of placing another person in fear of imminent physical injury or death. Depending on state, degrees of offense range from a misdemeanor for first-time offenders, to low- to mid-level felonies for offenders with a prior menacing charge. Self-defense is often explicitly given as an exception.
Threatening the president of the United States is a federal felony under United States Code Title 18, Section 871. It consists of knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making "any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict great bodily harm upon the president of the United States". The law also includes presidential candidates, vice presidents, and former presidents. The Secret Service investigates suspected violations of this law and monitors those who have a history of threatening the president. Threatening the president is considered a political offense. Immigrants who commit this crime can be deported.
Non-fatal offences against the person, under English law, are generally taken to mean offences which take the form of an attack directed at another person, that do not result in the death of any person. Such offences where death occurs are considered homicide, whilst sexual offences are generally considered separately, since they differ substantially from other offences against the person in theoretical basis and composition. Non-fatal offences against the person mainly derive from the Offences against the Person Act 1861, although no definition of assault or battery is given there.
Rape laws vary across the United States jurisdictions. However, rape is federally defined for statistical purposes as:
Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.