What are some famous cases of slander

Defamatory gossip according to the StGB: An overview of the offense

who verbally abuses another person, in most cases not only offends them emotionally, but may even make themselves punishable under certain circumstances. The offense of insult, legally standardized in Section 185 of the Criminal Code (short: StGB), plays an important role in this context.

Beside him knows the German Criminal law, however, further defamation, so those who oppose the another person's personal honor judge. In our following guide we want to take a closer look at the facts of defamation and answer some relevant questions on the subject in this context: What is defamation by definition? What is the penalty for the act? What law regulates the defamation? When does the statute of limitations apply? Read more here!

FAQ: Defamation

When is it defamation?

Here you can read about the circumstances under which the offense of defamation is fulfilled.

How is defamation punished?

Defamation is punishable by imprisonment for up to one year or a fine.

When does the statute of limitations expire?

The offense of defamation expires in Germany after three years.

Definition: what does defamation mean?

Before we turn to the punishment for defamation, let us first explain what this is to understand conceptually at all is. It should also be clarified what the difference between defamation and defamation and insult is.

The defamation is an act of honor which is about that Asserting or spreading honest facts goes. A fact is a state that can basically be proven. In the case of the concept of facts, a distinction is made between so-called external and internal facts, both of which fall under the criminal offense of "defamation". External facts are outwardly perceptible states. The concept of internal facts, however, falls Intentions of a person.

The defamation differs from the insult in that the latter is the Expression of a negative value judgment is threatened with punishment.

With regard to the difference between the offense “defamation” and the offense of defamation, the following applies: For defamation it is crucial that the factual assertion “not proven to be true“Is. In the case of defamation within the meaning of Section 187 of the Criminal Code, however, the fact "proven to be untrue“Be and be the perpetrator of this fact.

Defamation: Which law regulates the facts?

Section 186 of the Criminal Code regulates defamation. The norm is part of the fourteenth section of the Criminal Code, which bears the title "insult" and regulates all honor offenses. The standard itself says:

Anyone who asserts or disseminates a fact in relation to another which is likely to make the same contemptible or to be degraded in public opinion, if this fact is not proven to be true, will be punished with imprisonment of up to one year or with a fine and, if that The act is committed publicly or through the distribution of writings (Section 11, Paragraph 3), punishable by imprisonment for up to two years or a fine.

How is a perpetrator punished?

Which Punishment for defamation can be found in the law. A prison sentence of up to one year or a fine is possible. So the crime should by no means be taken lightly, because as you can see very severe penalties threaten.

Unless the deed public or by means of the Dissemination of writings was committed, the penalty for defamation is even higher. In such cases, a Imprisonment for up to two years or a fine threaten.

According to criminal law, the offense “defamation” is a so-called offense. Conceptually, it always applies to distinguish from crime.

A crime is with at least one One year or more imprisonment threatened. Offenses, on the other hand, are unlawful acts, the minimum of which is threatened with a lesser prison sentence or with a fine. this is the Regulation of § 12 StGB refer to.

The distinction between the two terms is sometimes important for the Criminal liability of the attempt. A crime is always punishable if it is attempted, but an offense only if it is Law expressly so determined.

A tried defamation is therefore not punishable. The StGB does not have a standard in this regard that would determine otherwise.

Acts of defamation: What does the StGB determine in Section 186?

The fact of "defamation" holds two different acts ready. On the one hand, this is the Claim, on the other hand about that Disseminating unproven true, demeaning facts.

Allegation is present when the perpetrator has that fact as true to his own belief represents. When spreading, however, the perpetrator gives the fact as an object of foreign knowledge continues and does not make them his own.

Both courses of action require a so-called third-party purchase. This means that claiming or spreading only towards another person can be done and not about towards the person concerned himself. In such cases, however, only the would come Offense of insult into consideration.

Furthermore, according to the StGB, the defamation honestly be, so offend the person concerned in his honor. At Utterances, the one disregard, Contempt or disregard express this is the case.

There is a peculiarity with regard to the Constituent element of non-verifiability the fact. The intent or negligence of the offender does not have to relate to this. Instead, threatens a penalty for defamation even if he addresses the Truth and provability believes his utterance.

If there are criminal proceedings for defamation, the court must Truth or falsehood the fact in question be proven. If such proof cannot be produced or if such proof does not succeed, this is at the expense of the perpetrator. The fact is in this case as "not proven to be true“.

Defamation: Examples

The Realization of the facts can be present, for example, when a person claims to others: "Person XY goes to bed with everyone" or "Person XY steals from others" and those claims not proven to be true.

In today's age there is defamation not uncommon on the internet. Claims are spreading rapidly here, something for the victims because of the threatening banklessness can often be particularly fatal and uncomfortable.

Defamation: Judgments by German courts

You can use the following table as an example judicial decisions on the subject of "defamation".

OffensepunishmentCourt, date, file number
False claim that a police officer went on duty after drinking alcoholFine: 40 daily rates of 100 euros eachAG Backnang, judgment of 01.07.2014, Az. 2 Cs 96 Js 69894/13 (2)
Allegation by one man that a police officer is a "peeper" who has nothing better to do than control himFacts not fulfilledBVerfG, decision of June 29, 2016, Az. 1 BvR 2732/15
Claim of intimate partner violence that could not be proven to be trueFine: 30 daily rates of 35 euros eachAG Rosenheim, judgment of 03.11.2011, Az. 1 Cs 420 Js 18674/11

Limitation period: Defamation cannot be pursued indefinitely

According to the Criminal Code, like most other crimes, defamation is criminal not unlimited in time be prosecuted and punished.

Offenses are subject to one so-called statute of limitations. For the defamation, § 78 paragraph 3 number 5 StGB is relevant, which one Three-year follow-up period determined with such a penalty. The defamation can after this period of time can no longer be tracked. Both the police and the public prosecutor's office are tied. In such cases, a perpetrator is "off the hook“.

According to Section 78a of the Criminal Code, the statute of limitations begins as soon as the Act ended or the actual success occurred is.

What to do with defamation?

People who Offense according to § 186 StGB fall victim, sometimes ask: "How do I defend myself against the defamation?" Depending on how serious the statements made, a corresponding criminal complaint should be filed with the police. Furthermore, it can sometimes be worthwhile to go to a lawyer. If necessary, he can do one Injury action against defamation initiate or sue for damages. Such claims are part of civil law. The legal basis can be found here in Civil Code (short: BGB).

Report for defamation: what now?

People who live in In return, a complaint for defamation have on their necks, the question may arise how they react to it now. It is imperative that the Obtaining legal help?

Unless an alleged perpetrator no further allegations be made and it is only about the defamation according to Paragraph 186 StGB, it is necessary no representation by a lawyer. In such cases, it is not a necessary defense within the meaning of Section 140 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO). This would instead be the case if the person concerned for example, charged with a crime would. Examples of crimes are murder or robbery.

Still, although a defense by a lawyer not mandatory by law it can often prove beneficial to seek professional advice. Not infrequently it happens that the accused or accused in the context of interrogations Talk about head and neck and make thoughtless remarks with which they ultimately only do more damage. To avoid this, it is highly recommended that you consult an experienced Lawyer specializing in criminal law to be represented. He knows what is particularly important, what has to be observed and which handling is most advantageous in a specific case.

In severe cases, defamation can be used Claims for damages trigger. Such a thing falls into the area of ​​civil law. Nevertheless, the Advice or representation worth through a lawyer. In that case, he can try to keep the asserted claims as low as possible.

As you can see, it can be worthwhile to hire a lawyer Accusation of "defamation" to consult. After all, the act is by no means a trivial offense.
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Defamatory gossip according to the StGB: An overview of the offense
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