Legal Threat

Definition - What does Legal Threat mean?

A legal threat is a communication—whether written, spoken or symbolic—made with the intent to pressure or intimidate another, particularly in reference to one party threatening to take legal action against another party.

A threat may rise to the level of a criminal offense if the threat involves malicious injury to an individual’s reputation, property or physical body; or if the threat involves a deadly weapon.

Justipedia explains Legal Threat

Because a legal threat is a communication, courts must decide when free speech protections apply and when they do not.

Clearly prohibited threats are ones threatening physical violence, especially with a deadly weapon, to an individual’s physical body or property. Other prohibited legal threats include threats made between legal adversaries or business competitors when the threats tend to compel an adversary or competitor to act against their will.

Whenever lawyers threaten actions that would otherwise be unlawful, they may face civil and criminal consequences.

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