Felony menacing is a criminal charge that sounds pretty intimidating, but a lot of people facing this charge are unclear about what this charge entails. In Colorado the crime of menacing means that a person knowingly makes the victim fear imminent serious bodily injury. Essentially, you might liken the crime of menacing to being charged with seriously threatening another person. Felony menacing is a threat that also involves making the other person believe that you might have a deadly weapon. Felony menacing would include saying you had a gun, or showing someone a weapon even if it was fake such as a water gun. Felony menacing occurs anytime a defendant makes a person believe they are being threatened with a deadly weapon.
Because of the broad construction of the felony menacing statute in the state of Colorado a defense attorney must understand these charges to be able to assist a defendant. For instances courts have ruled in People v. Hines that even holding a deadly weapon in the presence of another person without pointing it at them might constitute felony menacing. Intoxication is not a defense to this crime. However, self-defense can be asserted to defend against this charge. The prosecution must also prove that the defendant had the general intent to cause fear or threaten the victim. There are many elements of this crime that also must be considered. Felony menacing is often included when there are additional charges that a defendant is facing. A defense to some charges like second degree assault does not necessarily mean that a person will be acquitted of felony menacing. Every defendant should be properly advised on the risk they face of being convicted of felony menacing since it is still a serious crime.
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