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A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person.
IntimidationIntimidation (also called cowing) is intentional behavior that "would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities" to fear injury Injury, also known as physical trauma, is damage Damage is any change in a thing, often a physical object, that degr ...

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 Coercion () is compelling a party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threat A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. Intimidation is widely observed in animal behavior (particularly in a ritualiz ...
. 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
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.


Law


Brazil

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 urisprudencedoes not treat as a crime a threat that was proffered in a heated discussion.


Germany

The German ''
Strafgesetzbuch ''Strafgesetzbuch'' (), abbreviated to ''StGB'', is the German penal code. History In Germany the ''Strafgesetzbuch'' goes back to the Penal Code of the German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.He ...
'' ยง 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.


United States

In the United States, federal law criminalizes certain
true threat A true threat is a threatening communication A threat is a ''communicated'' intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. IntimidationIntimidation (also called cowing) is intentional behavior that "would cause a person of ordinary sensibil ...
s transmitted via the U.S. mail or in
interstate commerce The Commerce Clause describes an enumerated powerThe enumerated powers (also called expressed powers, explicit powers or delegated powers) of the United States Congress The United States Congress or U.S. Congress is the bicameral legisl ...
. It also criminalizes
threatening the government officials of the United States Threatening government officials of the United States is a felony A felony is traditionally considered a crime of high seriousnessSeriousness (noun; adjective: ''serious'') is an attitude of gravity Gravity (), or gravitation, is a list ...
. Some U.S. states criminalize
cyberbullying Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying or harassment using Electronic communication network, electronic means. Cyberbullying and cyberharassment are also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially ...

cyberbullying
. Threats of bodily harm are called
assault An assault is the act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted physical contact upon a person or, in some specific legal definitions, a threat or attempt to commit such an action. It is both a crime In ordinary language, a crime is an u ...

assault
.


State of Texas

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.


True threat

A
true threat A true threat is a threatening communication A threat is a ''communicated'' intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. IntimidationIntimidation (also called cowing) is intentional behavior that "would cause a person of ordinary sensibil ...
is a
threatening communication A threat is a communication of intent to inflict harm or loss on another person. 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 p ...
that can be prosecuted under the law. It is distinct from a threat that is made in jest. The
U.S. Supreme Court The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States of America The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a coun ...

U.S. Supreme Court
has held that true threats are not protected under the
U.S. Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the Supremacy Clause, supreme law of the United States, United States of America. This founding document, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first t ...
based on three justifications: preventing fear, preventing the disruption that follows from that fear, and diminishing the likelihood that the threatened violence will occur.


See also


References

{{Authority control Bullying Speech crimes Psychological abuse