What is a Verbal Threat? - Definition, Examples & Laws


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Which one of the following characteristics is required in order for a verbal threat to be considered a criminal verbal threat?

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1. John has recently purchased a firearm. He has mentioned to his friends that he plans to terrorize his girlfriend's family. John emails his girlfriend's father and tells him that he better look over his shoulder because he's coming for him tonight. What type of threat is John making?

2. Amy is a 16-year-old teen who is constantly arguing with her mother. In general, she's a good student and daughter, but she is rebelling and doesn't want to follow rules. One day, during an argument, Amy blurts out that she wishes her mother was dead. Which of the following answers would most likely characterize this verbal threat?

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About This Quiz & Worksheet

With this quiz and worksheet, you can quickly test your comprehension of verbal threats and the law. You'll need to be familiar with laws in the state of California concerning criminal verbal threats.

Quiz & Worksheet Goals

This quiz will test you on the following:

  • What makes a verbal threat a criminal act
  • Identifying the type of threat based on a given situation
  • Laws in California regarding classification of a criminal verbal threat
  • A defense against a criminal threat charge

Skills Practiced

  • Knowledge application - use your knowledge to answer questions about verbal threats and the law
  • Interpreting information - verify that you can read information about when a verbal threat becomes a criminal act and interpret it correctly
  • Information recall - access the knowledge you've gained regarding a defense against a criminal threat charge

Additional Learning

To get an even better understanding of this subject, check out the related lesson titled What is a Verbal Threat? - Definition, Examples & Laws. Here are some of the topics you'll find in this lesson:

  • Examples of verbal threats that are criminal in nature
  • What a 'wobble law' is
  • How criminal verbal threats are handled in Texas