Does a threat constitute some form of verbal assault?

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Does a threat constitute some form of verbal assault?

I was at a friend’s house and we were popping fireworks and we cleaned up our trash when we were done. His neighbor came out and started screaming at us to pick up our trash but the trash on the road belonged to them and not us. We refused to pick up trash for them and the neighbor threatened to beat me up if I continued to speak back to her. She also said “clean your mess little boy” because I am a girl with a short haircut (though I am not gay or transgender) and she threatened not only myself, an 18 year old, but several minors with physical violence as well. Is this verbal assault? Sexual harassment? Will I get anywhere by pressing charges? is this a waste of time?

Asked on July 5, 2015 under Personal Injury, Texas

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Assault is both civil (lawsuit) and criminal.  The criminal case and civil case are separate and independent.

Assault is intentionally placing a person in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery.  Battery is the actual physical contact (harmful or offensive touching of another without consent or legal privilege).

The verbal threat constitutes assault if you were in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery.  The threat of beating constitutes assault.

Considering what occurred, it probably isn't worth pursuing criminal charges or filing a lawsuit.


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