Being charged with any crime is serious, and deserves to be treated as such; being charged with a felony, such as felony menacing, is especially severe. At the law offices of Miller Leonard, PC, our criminal defense attorney in Colorado is ready to help you understand the charges against you and defend yourself.
What Is Felony Menacing?
As found in Colorado code section 18-3-206, a person commits the crime of menacing when they knowing place or attempt to place another person in fear of imminent and serious bodily injury by a threat or physical action. Typically, the crime is a class 3 misdemeanor; however, it is considered a felony (class 5) if:
- A deadly weapon or any other weapon or article fashioned in a manner to reasonably cause the threatened person to believe that the weapon is deadly is used; or
- The person suggests, either verbally or otherwise, that they are in possession of a deadly weapon.
Based on the definitions provided above, there are three things the prosecution must prove in order to secure a felony menacing condition. These are:
- Knowingly placing another in fear – It is not enough for the prosecution to prove that you merely threatened or intimidated someone; they must prove that you knew that you were causing fear and that you intended to do this.
- Serious bodily injury – The law reads that menacing is only committed when another is placed in fear of serious bodily injury, not just injury. Serious bodily injury means an injury that has a substantial risk of death, risk of disfigurement, risk of fracture, or risk of serious impairment of a bodily function.
- Use of a deadly weapon – Finally, the prosecution may be able to prove that a defendant committed menacing, but cannot prove that the act was a felony menacing charge unless use of a deadly weapon is established. A deadly weapon is any weapon that could reasonably cause a person’s death, including a knife, gun, baseball bat, and more.
Felony Menacing – Colorado Penalties
Being charged with a felony is always more severe than is being charged with a misdemeanor. Indeed, if an individual is convicted of a misdemeanor felony menacing charge, they will face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $750 in penalties. However, if the conviction is for felony menacing, the potential penalty increases to at least one year of incarceration and up to three years, and a fine of at least $1,000 and up to $100,000.
If a convicted person does not have a criminal record, particularly one that includes a history of violent crimes, then it is possible that incarceration time will be waived in place of a probationary period.
Defenses to Felony Menacing in Colorado
If you are charged with menacing in Colorado, especially felony menacing, it is in your best interests to seek legal counsel and begin working on your defense with your lawyer immediately. There are many different possible defenses to felony menacing depending on your circumstances. Some of these defenses include:
- Lack of a deadly weapon;
- Lack of intent to cause fear;
- Lack of fear of serious bodily injury;
- Lack of threat;
- Acting in self-defense; and
- Lack of any confrontation with the alleged victim.
Sometimes, comments and remarks are construed in a way to mean something other than what a person intends, and other times, an alleged victim may claim that they were threatened as a way to get revenge on the defendant. Our lawyers will assess the details of your case and help you to build your defense.
Sometimes, the evidence against a defendant is so convincing that pleading innocent and fighting charges doesn’t make sense. When this is the case, our lawyers can guide you through the process of entering a plea bargain with the prosecution, which may result in a mitigation of the most severe of sentencing.
Call Our Law Firm Today if You Have Been Charged with Felony Menacing in Colorado
If you have been charged with felony menacing in Colorado, there are a few things that you should do immediately. First, write down everything you can about the event for which you are being charged. Second, refrain from engaging in any conversations or other interactions with the alleged victim. Third, call a skilled lawyer who is interested in providing you with superior legal defense.
At the law office of Miller Leonard, PC, our experienced Colorado criminal defense lawyer is ready to start working on your case today. Our law firm was formed with the intent of providing qualified services to those in need – if you are facing felony menacing charges, you need a team who cares about you. Reach us today by calling our law office directly, or send us a message telling us more about your case.