Would you testify if you were threatened

Threat: Offense against personal freedom

A wide variety of offenses are regulated in German criminal law. They differ in many ways, not least in theirs respective acts, in which to protective legal interest as well as regarding to imposing penalties. So not all offenses are the same.

In our guide it should Offense of threat be considered more closely. Where is he in criminal code (short: StGB) normalized? What action is defined as Threat as defined by the law? What is the penalty for the threat? When does the statute of limitations expire in Germany and what do the police do when you are threatened? Read everything you need to know about the topic here.

FAQ: threat

How is a threat defined according to the StGB?

Read how a threat is defined in Section 241 of the Criminal Code here.

How is a threat prosecuted?

According to the Criminal Code, threats are punishable by imprisonment for up to one year or a fine.

What can I do if I am threatened?

Here is what to read about what to do when you are the victim of a threat.

Threat: Regulation according to the German Criminal Code

In the StGB the threat is initially in Paragraph 241 enshrined in law. She is part of the 18. Section of the Criminal Code. The law says:

(1) Anyone who threatens a person with the commission of a crime directed against him or a person close to him is punished with imprisonment for up to one year or with a fine.
(2) Anyone who, against his better judgment, pretends to a person that a crime against him or a person close to him is imminent will also be punished.

The threat is a so-called endangered offense. This means a type of offense in which a legal interest does not have to be violated, but in which the merely causing a hazard is already threatened with punishment. In addition to the threat, there are also the Drunkenness in traffic according to § 316 StGB or the Defamation in the sense of § 187 StGB Endangering offenses.

A distinction is made between abstract and concrete dangerous offenses. In the case of an abstract high-risk offense, a certain behavior is presumed to be at risk. The Threat according to § 241 StGB is such an abstract endangering offense.

In contrast, the specific endangered offense requires a actual endangerment of a legal asset. An example at this point is the dangerous interference with road traffic named in the sense of § 315b StGB. Anyone who commits one of the legally stipulated acts here, but neither one other person still a strange things of significant value is specifically threatened, is not a criminal offense.

The legal interest of the threat to be protected is that individual legal peace.

Threat: What is the threat of punishment?

According to German criminal law, the threat provides for a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine. The offense is thus designed as an offense. Conceptually, it always applies to distinguish from a crime. The latter is to be understood as a crime which is in his Minimum with a prison sentence of one year or more is threatened.

The crimes include robbery (§ 249 StGB), murder (§ 211 StGB) or manslaughter (§ 212 StGB). A perpetrator here has to be behind bars for at least one year.

An offense, on the other hand, is a crime, that too provides for a milder punishment. A prison sentence of less than a year or a fine can be imposed here.

In addition to the threat, the StGB knows one Multitude of other offenses. Exemplary are the facts of theft (§ 242 StGB), the embezzlement (§ 246 StGB) or the simple assault (Section 223 of the Criminal Code). Again, a criminal does not necessarily have to go to prison for a year or more.

Paragraph 241 of the Criminal Code: Acting the threat

So that a perpetrator because of Threat within the meaning of § 241 StGB a criminal offense, he must promise another person to commit a crime against him or against a person close to him.

As related within the meaning of the threat according to § 241 StGB Relatives of the threatened or people to whom this one longer, personal relationship maintains, which is as intense as that of a family relationship. This sometimes includes living communities or even close friendships.

At this point a differentiation of the terms "Crime and misdemeanor“Needed. Anyone who threatens to kill another person is liable to prosecution for being threatened. The prospect of a slap, however, is of the Regulation of § 241 StGB does not include.

It is not necessary in the context of the threat that the threatened takes this seriously. In addition, it is irrelevant whether it is actually possible for the perpetrator to implement what has been threatened.

According to paragraph 2 of Section 241 of the Criminal Code, the pretense about that the Realization of a crime imminent, threatened with punishment. The penalty corresponds to the same as in paragraph 1. In this variant of the offense, the announced crime is allowed objectively not imminent.

A threat cannot be in one express way, but also be implied. The term "implied" means action in a coherent form, with which the perpetrator expresses the prospect of placing. So it's not just that verbal threat punishable but also through a correspondingly coherent action such as that Holding up a weapon or the like.

Furthermore, a threat does not have to be face-to-face. This is also possible in written form or by phone call. It is therefore also conceivable to report a threat on the phone or by SMS.

After all, anyone can become a victim of a threat. The act is not directed against certain people or groups of people. Accordingly, anyone who threatens the police, for example, is also liable to prosecution.

According to criminal law, when does the threat expire?

Offenses are usually cannot be tracked indefinitely. Even legally imposed penalties cannot be enforced forever. In this respect, the terms "Statute of Limitation for Prosecution" and "Enforcement statute of limitations“From each other.

The former means that after a certain time a crime can no longer be prosecuted by the authorities can. First push the police or the public prosecutor after the corresponding deadline In this respect, their hands are tied on a “hot lead” that makes a person suspect as a perpetrator. But how long is it Deadline for the offense of the threat?

To answer this question, a look at Section 78 of the Criminal Code helps. When calculating the time limit for the statute of limitations, this is always decisive Maximum amount of a penalty to be imposed. For threats, this is one year imprisonment. The act cannot be punished more highly.

Accordingly, Section 78 (3) number 5 of the Criminal Code is relevant. The The period of limitation for prosecution is then three years.

According to § 78a StGB, the period begins to run from Time of termination of the act or from the point at which the actual success occurs.

The Limitation period for enforcement is regulated by law in Section 79 of the Criminal Code. This means that a legally enforceable judgment can no longer be enforced after a certain period of time. So if someone is sentenced to imprisonment, but the sentence is never carried out, it can after the respective period has expired to the statute of limitations no longer made up become. In this respect, the perpetrator is “off the hook”.

How long the deadline is for the threat depends again on the Maximum amount of the penalty to be imposed, which according to § 241 StGB is one year imprisonment. Relevant is accordingly § 79 paragraph 3 number 4 StGB, from which a five-year limitation period for enforcement for the offense of threat standardized in Section 241 of the StGB.

According to Section 79 (6) StGB, the start of the period for the statute of limitations on enforcement is Time when the decision becomes final.

Threat report: what happens now?

Many of those affected wonder what happens when a threat is reported. Contrary to the misconception of many, it is under threat no complaint required. In contrast to the criminal complaint, which may be a mere notification of one criminally relevant facts defined, a criminal complaint is to be understood as the serious request of a person that another because of prosecuted for an act becomes. In the case of so-called complaint offenses, criminal prosecution can usually not be started without a corresponding application (with the exception of so-called relative claim offenses). The threat, on the other hand, is not a complaint.

But what does a threat of consequences report bring with it? Basically im Criminal procedural law The following: As soon as the Investigative authority (Police or public prosecutor) by one criminally relevant facts If knowledge becomes known and there is a so-called initial suspicion, she is forced to initiate a corresponding investigation ex officio. This applies to everyone so-called official offenses. This includes all crimes as well as the multitude of offenses. The threat is also one Official offense in the above sense. The first stage of the procedure, in which the authorities initiate and conduct their investigations, is called Preliminary investigation designated.

The authorities don't just check everyone burden, but also all exonerating circumstances. The public prosecutor's office is therefore also called "most objective authority in the world" designated.

If the public prosecutor's office comes to the conclusion at the end of a preliminary investigation, because of a threat or because of another criminal offense, that the Initial suspicion to a so-called sufficient suspicion condensed, she is bringing public charges to the relevant court. Otherwise, it will drop the case against the accused.

Apply in criminal procedural law different levels of suspicion. The weakest form here is the initial suspicion already mentioned. It will exist as soon as sufficient factual evidence exist for the existence of a criminal offense. Sufficient suspicion is given, however, if the Conviction of the accused in a main hearing based on the current file situation probably is.

Urgent suspicion exists if, according to the current state of investigation, a predominant probability of conviction consists.

Arrives at the court in which subsequent intermediate proceedings concludes that there is something to the threat allegation, it opens the main hearing. The accused is at this stage of the procedure referred to as the defendant.

I am threatened: what now?

What to do when threatened Should a complaint always be made? Generally speaking, in situations where you should have been the victim of a crime, the emergency call can be dialed. As a rule, those affected are first “blown by the wind” and unable to organize their thoughts. The Police are specially trained in this regard and knows how to proceed. A criminal complaint is recommended in any case. Will the police not informed of the incident, cannot determine them and the perpetrator comes possibly with impunity.

Legal advice is also available for Victim of a threat helpful. The threat from a neighbor, an acquaintance or other person is by no means to be taken lightly to take. After all, it is the Threat of a criminal offense. Under certain circumstances, with an appropriate legal support Claims for compensation can still be made and enforced, depending on the situation.

What to do in the event of a threat report?

In addition to the victim side, the side of a suspect should also be considered when it comes to threats. A threat often comes with the Facts of coercion and insult. So what to do in the case of a complaint Threat and insult?

Such allegations should not be taken lightly. After all, these are crimes that threatened with severe penalties become.

If you have a complaint of coercion, insult and / or threat on your neck, it is advisable to consult a lawyer specializing in criminal law.

He knows how best to proceed and which ones best possible defense strategy is for you. Your lawyer can then request inspection of the files for you. This allows relevant findings win with regard to the status of the investigation.

Who is a Criminal proceedings without a lawyer in the worst case, there is a risk of making thoughtless and hasty statements. This can be a Accused or accused often doing more harm than he would like. A corresponding agreement is therefore worth gold here.

If you are in Germany because of a threat or have been charged with another criminal offense, you do not necessarily have to turn to a specialist lawyer specializing in criminal law. There are numerous lawyers well versed in criminal lawthat you can defend even without the corresponding specialist lawyer title.

Threat under the StGB: Examples of judicial decisions

You can use the following table Examples of judicial convictions remove due to threat.

Offense punishment Court, year, Az.
Adolescent told his teacher in an outburst of anger: "I'll beat you to death!" acquittalAG Rudolstadt, 2012, 355 Js 15271/12 - 1 Ds
Assault, deprivation of liberty, threat and insult Three years and ten months imprisonmentLG Hamburg, 2012, 628 KLs - 17/11
(129 Ratings, average: 3,92 of 5)
Threat: Offense against personal freedom
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