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Colorado Menacing

Colorado Springs Menacing Lawyer

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Colorado revised statute 18-3-206, known as menacing, is when someone threatens another person, using words or physical actions, thus putting the person in a place of extreme fear. In Colorado, menacing is a class 1 misdemeanor, but it is a Class 5 felony if the defendant uses a deadly weapon, or pretends to use a deadly weapon, to threaten someone.

Penalties for Menacing in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalty
Menacing Misdemeanor Class 1:

  • Up to 364 days in jail and/or
  • A fine of up to $1,000
Menacing Felony Class 5:

  • 1-3 years in prison and/or
  • A fine of $1,000–$100,000
(Colo. Rev. Stat. § § 18-3-206, 18-1.3-401, 18-1.3-406, 18-1.3-501.)

Here Is What The Prosecution Must Prove to Convict You

The elements of the crime of false imprisonment are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. knowingly,
  4. by any threat or physical action,
  5. Placed or attempted to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
  6. If there is an affirmative defense raised, the prosecution must also prove that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense.

Possible Defenses for Menacing in Colorado

The prosecutor must prove items, or elements, that show the defendant committed the crime of menacing. For example, they have to show that the defendant used a deadly weapon if they want to convict you of felony menacing. They also have to prove that they caused someone to be in fear of severe bodily harm.

However, if you did not commit a physical act of violence, the prosecutor must show that your threats put the victim in reasonable fear that you might hurt them.

Criminal defense lawyers have several possible defenses for a felony or misdemeanor menacing charge, including:

It’s important to note that even if you threaten someone with a weapon but don’t have it on you, you can still be charged and convicted of menacing.

Colorado Revised Statutes. CRS 18-3-206:

18-3-206. Menacing:

(1) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by any threat or physical action, he or she knowingly places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Menacing is a class 3 misdemeanor, but, it is a class 5 felony if committed:

(a) By the use of a deadly weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon; or

(b) By the person representing verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon.

Have you been charged or arrested for menacing in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

Many people don’t know that even if you intend no harm to the alleged victim with your threats, by placing someone in fear of being harmed, you could be convicted of menacing in Colorado. And this crime, whether it’s a misdemeanor or a felony, results in jail time and a criminal record if convicted.For the prosecutor to convict you, they have to convince the jury that you either caused the victim harm, were actively attempting to harm them, or put them in reasonable fear that you would harm them.

The jury must believe that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Thankfully, there are many defenses for menacing, such as acting out of self dense or not using a weapon to threaten the person. Still, you need a reliable criminal defense attorney to create a stellar defense strategy to protect you.

 

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Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or
    Summons
    01

    Arrest or
    Summons

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing
    02

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of
    Charges
    03

    Advisement of
    Charges

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)
    04

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony
    Charges)

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing
    05

    Pretrial Conference /
    Disposition
    Hearing

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment
    06

    Arraignment

    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing
    07

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness
    Conference
    08

    Pretrial Readiness
    Conference

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial
    09

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing
    Date
    10

    Sentencing
    Date

    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is stalking a form of menacing in Colorado?

In Colorado, stalking is a related offense to menacing. Stalking is when someone makes repeated threats that cause someone to be reasonably fearful. So if you are a repeat offender of menacing, you could also be charged with stalking, which is prosecuted as a felony.

Do I need a criminal defense lawyer if I plan on pleading guilty to menacing in Colorado?

Even if you plan on pleading guilty to menacing in Colorado, working with a criminal defense lawyer is advisable. An experienced attorney will create a defense strategy to reduce your charges using mitigating factors and other defenses.

Without a lawyer, you could receive higher charges. For example, you could be convicted of a felony, even if your actions only warrant a misdemeanor. In felony menacing cases, if you are found guilty of menacing, you could be taken to jail immediately unless you have a criminal defense attorney who can help guide you through your options.

Will I go to jail for menacing in Colorado?

If you are convicted of menacing in Colorado, you will face jail time. Both misdemeanor and felony convictions of menacing result in jail or prison time. For a misdemeanor, you will face up to 364 days in jail. However, for a felony conviction, you will go to prison for one to three years.