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Understanding the meaning of menacing

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | June 10, 2019

Sometimes you hear of someone facing criminal charges and you do not understand why. Perhaps you have never heard of the alleged crime or the charges.

Menacing is a charge that you may not understand. Perhaps you have heard of it, but do not really know what exactly it entails. One of the best ways to avoid inadvertently committing a crime is having an idea of how you can face charges. Whether you have a basic knowledge of the crime or not, obtaining some further insight is not a bad idea.

The legal definition of menacing

Colorado law is clear when it comes to what constitutes menacing. If the police get a call that involves a threat you have made against another person, and that threat was realistic enough to elicit fear in the person, you may face menacing charges. You can merely tell someone you will harm them, and if they feel that you will follow through with that threat, either in the moment or later, than you may face arrest on menacing allegations.

Menacing with a weapon

Threatening someone harm is enough, but when a suspect uses a weapon to further the threat, the menacing charge gets even more serious. A weapon under the definition includes the use of any of the following:

  • Baseball bat
  • Knife
  • Metal rod
  • Hammer
  • Firearm (including realistic toys and airsoft toys)
  • Hands or fists

Legal punishment for menacing

When arrested for menacing, you may face misdemeanor charges. In Colorado, this may equate to a combination of fines, jail time or probation. However, if a weapon was part of the threat, it escalates to a felony and the penalties get much stiffer. Instead of just a few months in jail, you may go to prison for up to three years, pay fines up to $100,000 and lose the legal right to carry a firearm.

Remember even when engaged in a verbal altercation with someone, if you allow your anger to get the best of you and you make threats of physical harm, you could wind up in jail or worse.

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