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In Colorado, making threats of violence is usually something that will result in a misdemeanor charge. Yet it’s still possible to be charged with a felony when you don’t even have physical contact with another person.
It’s called menacing and there are three instances of menacing under Colorado law that could land you in some seriously hot legal water. Here’s what you need to know about menacing, the penalties a conviction can carry, and defense strategies against it.
You can be charged with menacing in Colorado if you knowingly threaten or attempt to make someone fearful that you will seriously injure or kill them. In some states, it’s also called “making criminal threats” or even assault.
Basic menacing charges are often a Class 3 misdemeanor. That charge is punishable by a probation sentence, up to six months in jail, and a potential fine of up to $750. However, there are a few instances that can result in felony menacing charges that can result in more serious charges and associated penalties.
There are three things that prosecutors can point to in order to turn a misdemeanor menacing charge into a felony menacing charge. These things are:
If you threaten or intimidate someone else and understand or purposefully intend to cause them to fear harm, then you can be charged with felony menacing. It’s the intent behind the menacing actions that prosecutors look at and must prove in order to convict.
There are many crimes where the charges can be more serious when a deadly weapon is involved, and menacing happens to be one of them. If prosecutors can prove that a deadly weapon was used to threaten or intimidate someone else, then a felony can be charged.
Deadly weapons include items such as:
You can be found guilty of felony menacing if you threaten seriously bodily injury, not simply injury. Seriously bodily injury is defined as an injury as has a substantial risk of disfigurement, impairment of a bodily function, fracture, or death.
In Colorado, the penalties for a felony menacing conviction are more severe than the misdemeanor charge. If you are convicted of felony menacing, then you can face up to three years in prison and fines up to $100,000.
If you do not have a history of violent crime or an extensive criminal history that involves convictions of crimes such as domestic violence, then it may be possible that probation is given in lieu of a prison sentence. However, breaking any rules of probation can land you in prison to finish the sentence.
If you are charged with menacing in Colorado, especially if it’s felony menacing, then it’s important to have the proper representation in court. An experienced attorney can help to mount a defense in your case that can include a few possible strategies including.
If the evidence against you is lacking in any of these areas, then it may be possible to fight the felony charge.
About the Author:
Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his clients’ rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.
Contact The Law Office of Andrew Bryant today for a free consultation concerning your criminal or family law case. You are just a click away from a top-rated and respected team with the experience and tenacity to ensure you get the best legal services offered in Colorado Springs – call or email now.