Bear, DE asked in Libel & Slander for Delaware

Q: Is slander or defamation of character illegal in the state of Delaware?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Snyderman
Charles Snyderman
  • Wilmington, DE
  • Licensed in Delaware

A: If by the word "illegal" you're asking if defamation is a crime in Delaware, the answer is No. A person who has been defamed can, however, sue to recover money damages. Defamation is a written or oral statement that harms the reputation of another person. To be considered harmful, the statement must lower the person in the eyes of the public or cause others not to associate or deal with him. I'm sure you've heard the words “libel” and “slander.” Libel is written defamation, and slander is oral defamation. The most common defense to a claim of defamation is truth. In other words, if a statement is true, you can tell as many people as you like even though the statement ruins a person’s reputation.

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