Punctual Threat – Conditions of Liability for Crime

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In today’s entry, we will analyze the principle of liability for a punishable threat – art. 190 § 1 of the Criminal Code. We will answer the question about what a punishable threat is, what are the most common ways of the perpetrators to act and what punishment the person committing threats threatens with.

Who threatens another person to commit a crime to its detriment or damage to a loved one, if the threat raises a legitimate fear of being fulfilled, subject to a fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment of up to 2. The prosecution takes place at the request of the aggrieved party.

A threat is an announcement that a crime will be committed to the detriment of the person to whom the threat is addressed or its closest person, if it raises a legitimate concern in the person at risk. The threat affects the psyche of the victim by raising the fear that it will be fulfilled.

The announcement of a crime is about committing a crime, offense or fiscal offense; it is not a threat of punishable committing an offense or so-called delict (culpable act causing damage).

A criminal threat may be expressed in any way understandable to the aggrieved party. It can take a distinct or implied form. It is possible to threaten orally, in writing, with a gesture.

A criminal threat may be directed to the victim or his immediate close person or through other people. It is recognized that an indirectly punitive threat is the basis for imposing criminal liability when there is an agreement between the threatening party and the intermediary to threaten or threaten informing the intermediary about the threat, at least it predicted that the victim would come to the attention of the aggrieved party and consented to it.

The Penal Code also accepts that it is not a criminal offense expressed in relation to an intermediary, if it was directed against a person who is not personally personalized (eg informing a third party about the intention to blow up an “indefinite” government administration building, does not constitute a punishable offense, the third had a justified fear of fulfilling the announcement).

A criminal threat can not be directed against a legal person or other organizational unit, because they can not be afraid (fear of threatening). An addressee of a criminal threat may be a person representing an organizational unit.

In order to accept liability for a threat, it is necessary to state that the threat of punishment caused the victim a justified feeling of fear of fulfilling the threat. The fear of satisfying a threat is justified if the victim takes the threat seriously and thinks that the perpetrator can meet it. It is not necessary for the victim to be sure that the punishment will be met.

The fear of satisfying the threat is difficult to verify. Assessment of whether the victim in the specific circumstances of the case could reasonably be afraid of meeting the threat, is done by comparing whether the average person with similar personality traits would consider the threat to be real and fearful.

In order to accept the responsibility of the perpetrator for committing a crime, the threat of punishment is irrelevant to the intention of committing the announced crime; it is enough that the announcement of committing a crime will cause the aggrieved party to fear that the threat will be fulfilled.

A punishable offense is an intentional crime committed with immediate or possible intent. He is prosecuted at the request of the aggrieved party. The perpetrator of a threat is subject to a fine, restriction of liberty or imprisonment of up to 2 years.

From judicial practice.

From judicial practice.

Assigning criminal responsibility for a crime requires not only to carry out the executive actions of the threat, but to cause the state in which the threat aroused in the threatened legitimate fear that it will be fulfilled. The phrase “reasonable fear” described in the description of the type of crime is therefore a prerequisite for the criminality of behavior consisting in threatening another person with committing a crime to its detriment or its closest person. Reasonable fear in the construction of the provision of art. 190 § 1 of the Criminal Code, is the element that allows to include and verify whether the subjective feeling of fear of the aggrieved party with regard to the threat had objective (justified) grounds.

If the accuser accused the accused of an unlawful threat directed against one person and the court sentenced him for threats addressed to two people, then the court went beyond the historical event described in the indictment.

On the one hand, court proceedings should be aimed at determining whether the victim was actually afraid that the announcement of a criminal activity would be fulfilled, and on the other hand to relativize the fear of the victim based on objective criteria that would allow to state that every average person with a personality similar to the victim, the features of the psyche, intellect, mentality and conditions would in all likelihood consider this threat as real and feared to be realized.

If the threat did not raise legitimate concerns, and the perpetrator was immediately going to call, you can talk about attempting to commit this crime.

The words “I will find you” certainly can not be understood as the threat of deprivation. These words express a vague threat that does not express anything specific. To perceive the threat of deprivation of life in them is an unacceptable presumption against the accused (Article 5 § 2 of the CPC).

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