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The definition of menacing is to threaten, express intention to harm, or inflict pain or destruction. The minimum crime class for menacing is a class C misdemeanor or a class 5 felony if charged with the use of a weapon in commission of menacing.
Menacing is the legal term for what may be deemed ‘assault’ or ‘intimidation’ in other states — any conduct that would place a reasonable person in fear of his or her immediate safety. Menacing can be committed with a weapon or with words alone, and the only elements the prosecutor will be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt are that you knowingly placed someone in fear of imminent bodily injury, even if the person was not actually injured.
In some cases, a defendant may be convicted of menacing even if the victim testifies that he or she was not put in fear of his or her life – such as a situation where the victim was asleep at the time of the conduct. If the prosecution can prove that a reasonable person would have been placed in fear by the conduct, a judge or jury may find the defendant guilty of menacing.
Menacing can also be a component of other crimes, like kidnapping or stalking. For example, someone who engages in menacing to induce the victim to engage in prostitution can be found guilty of pandering as well.
The key difference between felony menacing and misdemeanor menacing comes down to whether there was a weapon involved. If no weapon was present, the charge is likely to be misdemeanor menacing, in which case consulting a misdemeanor defense attorney is crucial. If a weapon was involved, it would be considered a felony menacing charge. The definition of a weapon in a menacing charge may be different than what you’re accustomed to because “causing fear” is the crime, and even a “fake” or “toy” weapon could be considered a weapon under the felony menacing statute.
If you’re charged with committing an act of menacing while using a weapon (or threatening to use a weapon), you can be charged with a Class 5 felony. The felony charge may be assessed even if the weapon you used was non-deadly (like a BB gun) or if you were bluffing and had no weapon at all. In such situations, consulting a skilled felony defense lawyer can be crucial for your case, as they can provide expert legal advice and defense strategies tailored to your specific circumstances..
Class 5 felony convictions can result in a prison sentence of 1 to 3 years and a fine of between $1,000 and $100,000, and the opportunity for sentencing leniency is lessened. You may lose your ability to own a firearm if convicted of felony menacing.
Because the difference between menacing with a weapon and without a weapon can be years of incarceration and tens of thousands of dollars, it can be very important from a defense perspective to contest the admissibility of any evidence of a weapon or threat of a weapon. That’s why it’s important to contact a menacing lawyer in Denver.
Most people can’t deny that they’ve been in a situation that, when pushed and angered, they have ‘reacted’ before thinking about the potential consequences. A situation where someone may be baiting you, and you threaten them to the point that they are fearful, can garner a charge of menacing.
If you have been charged with menacing in Colorado, it is important to seek the counsel of an experienced Denver menacing lawyer. Remember, what might seem like a heated exchange that went too far is nothing to contact a lawyer about, a charge of menacing will mean having a criminal record, which in turn can negatively affect any future charges brought against you.
If you’re facing probation violation charges, now is the time to act. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your defense by waiting—call the Law Office of Kevin Cahill at (720) 548-2990 today to start building a defense that can safeguard you from prison and other harsh penalties.
Denver Defense Lawyer Kevin Cahill never assumes that your case is a lost cause. He is a confident and fearless litigator who refuses to back down when he is fighting to protect the rights of his clients. Regardless of whether you are facing a felony or a misdemeanor, it is vital that you take the charges seriously and seek out legal representation as soon as possible so you can start building your defense. [ ATTORNEY BIO ]