Menacing charges are defined in several different yet similar ways. Wikipedia lists menacing as a crime by someone who if by conduct or word intentionally tries to put someone else in fear of an imminent and serious physical injury by displaying a weapon or by other threatening means.
Colorado Law Defines Menacing
Colorado law defines menacing in a very similar manner, where a person is committing a crime of menacing, if and when they knowingly try or actually do place someone else in a state of fear related to potentially imminent and severe physical harm.
Menacing can happen by either physical actions or verbal threats. The state of Colorado considers it a class 3 misdemeanor in most cases. However, charges can be moved up to a class 5 felony, should the following circumstances apply:
- A deadly weapon is used, or any other item is fashioned or used in such a manner as to make a reasonable person think that the object is a potentially fatal weapon.
- A person verbally or in some other manner indicates that they are armed with a potentially deadly weapon.
Based on these various definitions, the prosecution for a state must prove three different things in order to establish a case of felony menacing.
First, it must be established that someone knowingly placed someone else in fear. It’s not enough for a prosecutor to show that you just intimidated or threatened someone; they need to prove that you were aware of the fear you were causing. You must also have intended to do that.
Secondly, the prosecutor must prove the fear involved serious bodily injury, and not just an injury. Serious bodily injury can pertain to injuries carrying a high risk of fatality, a substantial risk of disfigurement, a high risk of a fracture, or a high risk level of bodily functions being significantly impaired.
Third, even when a prosecutor can prove a case of menacing, it’s not felony-level menacing unless the defendant used a deadly weapon in the act. Reasonable deadly weapons include guns, knives, baseball bats, and other items that might result in someone’s death.
Punishments For A Menacing Conviction
Punishments for menacing vary. Based on the facts of the case, an act of menacing might just be a misdemeanor, which can be punishable with a year or two in jail.
However, it can also be a felony that results in prison incarceration. In both misdemeanors and felonies, the act of menacing might also involve fines and restitution payment to compensate victims for monetary damages they suffered. In most cases, the most crucial factor in sentencing a menacing case is the actual degree of injury a victim suffered, if any.
Have you been changed with menacing in Colorado Springs? As you have read above, a menacing conviction can carry severe penalties. Don’t leave your future up to chance – trust your defense to a top Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney, Jeremy Loew.
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