Does a threat constitute some form of verbal assault?

UPDATED: Jul 5, 2015

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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


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

Answered 7 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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