Menacing Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with menacing, you need the counsel of an experienced menacing defense lawyer, even if you feel the charges are unfounded. Perhaps you believe the charge was the result of a misunderstanding. Or maybe your emotions got the best of you in the heat of the moment.
In any case, working with a seasoned attorney like Patterson Weaver can give you the defense you are entitled to, in order to explain the charges, defend your rights, and work to secure you the best possible outcome in court.
Patterson Weaver is a former prosecutor who has years of experience as a menacing defense lawyer in Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities. His case results and testimonials speak for themselves. In many instances, he is able to obtain reduced charges, a lighter sentencing, and/or a sealed case to protect your reputation in the future.
Contact Patterson Weaver today to learn more about how he and his team can assist if you or a loved one have been charged with menacing.
What Is Menacing?
Menacing is a criminal charge in the state of Colorado. The act of menacing someone entails making someone believe you are going to seriously hurt them at that very moment, not at some time in the future. To menace someone means to knowingly put someone in fear of serious bodily injury imminently.
Menacing can be planned or occur in the moment. For example, you can think about harming someone, go to their house, and when they open the door, tell them you are going to beat them up. Alternatively, you could get in an unexpected car accident and tell the other driver you are going to hurt them for damaging your vehicle.
Intent Must Be Established
Menacing does not occur by accident. For someone to be convicted of menacing, the court must establish that they intended to make the other party feel threatened. As long as you intend to threaten harm, it doesn’t even matter if the other person knows about your intentions. You can be charged with menacing by standing over the bed of a sleeping stranger or telling someone in the household you are going to hurt a family member right away. Therefore, one key element in defending charges of menacing is first to establish that intent was present.
There are two types of menacing in the state of Colorado: misdemeanor or felony menacing, depending on the factors involved, usually the presence of a deadly weapon. A class 3 misdemeanor charge of menacing can become a class 5 felony offense if a deadly weapon or item that can be used as such is used to create fear in the menaced party. It can also be a felony to make someone believe you intend to use a deadly weapon to hurt them, such as telling someone you are armed or even using a toy gun to threaten them.
Overview of Colorado Menacing & Assault Laws
For clarity, let’s take a look at Colorado’s menacing and assault laws so you have a better understanding of how charges are leveled. While menacing is making another party believe you are going to hurt them, assault is actually causing bodily harm. The two often go hand in hand when someone follows through on a threat. The numbers next to each section below refer to the specific statute in the Colorado criminal code.
First Degree Assault: 18-3-202, C.R.S.
This offense is the most serious type of assault. It occurs when the offender causes serious bodily injury to someone else while using a deadly weapon. First degree assault may also be charged when someone either threatens to cause or actually causes serious bodily injury to a firefighter, peace officer (law enforcement officer), or emergency medical worker, knowing the party’s designation as such at the time.
Second Degree Assault: 18-3-203, C.R.S.
Second degree assault is less severe than first degree assault, but it is still a serious charge. It is a class 4 felony, meaning it is a crime of violence and may be sentenced more stringently than lower-class felonies. In second degree assault, the accused has intentionally or recklessly caused serious bodily injury to someone else with or without a deadly weapon.
Menacing: 18-3-206, C.R.S.
Menacing, as discussed above, is the act of threatening someone with imminent bodily injury. Menacing can be charged as a class 3 misdemeanor, but it can be elevated to a class 5 felony if a deadly weapon or the pretense of having a deadly weapon is involved.
Third Degree Assault: 18-3-204, C.R.S.
Third degree assault is when someone knowingly or recklessly causes another bodily injury with a deadly weapon. This offense is a class 1 misdemeanor and can involve criminal negligence while driving a motor vehicle, for example.
What Counts as a Deadly Weapon for Colorado Springs Felony Menacing Charges?
If you are charged with menacing with a deadly weapon in Colorado, presence any of the following may apply:
- Metal tools (hammers, crowbars, etc.)
- Baseball bats
- Hands (in some instances, depending on the person)
Guns can include paint guns and toy guns, as the former can be dangerous without protective gear, and both can give the appearance of a real gun.
You’ll notice hands can also be considered a deadly weapon. If someone is larger or stronger than the person they are menacing, or if they are skilled in attacking with the hands, such as someone trained in boxing or the martial arts, their hands can be lethal.
Menacing Penalties in Colorado Springs
Menacing penalties in Colorado can be quite severe, and penalties are dependent upon numerous factors, including:
- Presence of a deadly weapon
- Pretense of having a deadly weapon
- Prior criminal record
- Unique circumstances of the event
Penalties for menacing can include probation, fines, and jail time. Class 3 misdemeanor menacing can be sentenced up to six months in jail. Class 5 felony menacing can carry up to a three-year jail sentence. Therefore, any charges of menacing are not to be taken lightly and should prompt a call to an experienced attorney for the best possible outcome.
Can Menacing Be Charged as Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can be added to other charges, including assault or menacing. In fact, menacing as domestic violence is the most common domestic violence charge. The combination of menacing and domestic violence may carry more serious penalties than menacing alone. Menacing with a firearm may progress to actual violence and even fatalities, in some cases.
Hire An Experienced Colorado Springs Menacing Defense Lawyer Today!
Don’t leave your future to chance! Menacing and related charges can carry stiff penalties, including jail time, and a conviction can follow you for the rest of your life, making it difficult to find employment and housing.
Call Patterson Weaver at 719-264-9858 today or reach out via our convenient online form. We know life happens, and we’re here to help. Contact our experienced team for a free case evaluation and the opportunity for a better outcome for your future.