Is a Verbal Threat Considered Assault?

According to New Jersey law, verbal threats fall under three different categories: 

  • Disorderly Conduct – According to the law, any time someone is offended by another’s “offensively coarse or abusive language” it can be considered disorderly conduct. This carries a fine of $500 and up to 30 days in jail.
  • Harassment – A verbal threat can be considered harassment if it involves physical contact and injury. Unlike disorderly conduct, harassment involves physical contact.
  • Maintaining a Nuisance – This typically means one individual or entity can cause a problem for a significant segment of the population. For example, you pass by a construction site every day, and each day, the construction workers at the site yell harmful things at you. Let’s say the harassment continues even after you report the nuisance to the workers’ employer. This means the construction company, or whichever business employs the workers, could be held liable for their employees’ behavior.