Threatening Letters Law and Legal Definition

Threatening letters are letters containing threats designed to extort money or to obtain other property. Mailing threatening communications is a federal offence under 18 USCS § 876.

Pursuant to Cal Pen Code § 523, every person who, with intent to extort any money or other property from another, sends or delivers to any person any letter or other writing, whether subscribed or not, expressing or implying, or adapted to imply, any threat, is punishable in the same manner as if such money or property were actually obtained by means of such threat.

In order to prove an offense of threatening letters the prosecution must prove that:

(1)the accused sent, delivered, or caused to be delivered a letter or writing threatening to any person of a serious indictable offense;

(2)the letter or writing was sent with intent to extort or gain property from any person; and

(3)the accused knew the contents of the letter.