We all have seen our share of B-grade movies about menacing. The evil villain skulks in dark alleyways, basements, maybe in the woods, twirling his moustache with a sardonic smile on his face while waiting for his unsuspecting victim to come near. Then he pounces on her and hauls her off to his cabin, laboratory or wherever he intends to imprison her. Sometimes the plot is so silly that the movie is downright funny. If you face charges of menacing in Colorado, however, this is no laughing matter.
Under Title 18, Section 18-3-206, of the Colorado Revised Statutes, menacing is a crime that occurs when someone verbally threatens and/or takes action to knowingly put someone else in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Colorado menacing: misdemeanor vs felony
Menacing is a class 3 misdemeanor in most circumstances. If convicted of this crime, you face a fine of $50 to $750 and up to six months in jail.
If, however, you allegedly used a deadly weapon or something that looked like one, or if you allegedly told your victim that you were armed with a deadly weapon, this is class 5 felony menacing. Many weapons qualify as deadly ones, including the following:
- Baseball bats
- Hammers, chainsaws, blowtorches and other tools
- Any concealed object represented to be a deadly weapon
If convicted of this crime, you face a fine of $1,000 to $100,000 and a prison sentence of one to three years.
In addition to Colorado's two types of menacing, federal law provides for a third. You can be charged with menacing under 18 U.S.C.A. 875 if you allegedly made a "threatening communication" to someone by means of interstate commerce, such as by any of the following:
- Threatening someone in another state by mail
- Threatening someone in another state by email
- Threatening someone in another state by telephone
- Threatening someone, whether in Colorado or elsewhere, by posting a threat on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
If convicted of this crime, you face a heavy fine and federal imprisonment for from two to 20 years.
You should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are charged with any type of menacing. This advocate can assess your situation, review the evidence against you, determine what defenses you have, and aggressively defend your rights and freedom.