Our criminal defense attorneys in Denver have defended many clients charged with Menacing or Assault, and even cases where our defendant is charged with both. Whether charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, these crimes have the possibility of a lengthy jail or prison sentence, high fines, and parole. While these crimes have some similarities, the main difference is between threats and actions.
Threat of Bodily Injury in Jefferson County
The crime of Menacing involves placing, or attempting to place, someone under the fear of imminent serious bodily injury.
Imagine this: a man and a woman in Jefferson County are having an argument in a residence, while a gun resides in its holster on the man's waist. It doesn't matter if the gun is loaded or not: the woman sees the gun and believes that the deadly weapon (the gun), could cause her imminent serious bodily injury. A neighbor hears the argument and calls the police. As the man leaves the house, the man is immediately apprehended, without a fight and without the gun being used or drawn, by a police officer. No one got hurt, but because the woman will claim that she was in fear of imminent bodily injury by the use of a deadly weapon, he would be charged with Menacing (in this case a class 5 felony).
If you represent verbally or otherwise that you are armed with a deadly weapon, Menacing is a class 5 felony.
Causing Bodily Injury – Assault in Adams County
You can be charged with Assault if you cause bodily injury to another in Adams County.
Let's go back to the same scenario at the home, however this time the man intends to cause injury. He is holding his gun, and as the woman starts to yell, he strikes her over the head with the gun (which ends up giving her a concussion), before leaving the house. Because striking her caused bodily injury and he intended to do so, he could be charged with Assault in the second degree.
If the man shot her with the gun, causing serious bodily injury, he would facing charges of Assault in the first degree. If he shot at her but missed, he would be facing charges of attempted assault in the first degree.
Exception to causing serious bodily injury in Douglas County Assault Case
One interesting thing to note with Colorado's Assault law, is that if someone has the intent to cause serious bodily injury to a police officer, firefighter, or emergency medical service provider, and they threaten that person with a deadly weapon, they can still be charged with Assault in the first degree, even if that person was not seriously injured. So while the man in the scenario above would be charged with attempted first degree assault if he missed the woman when he shot at her, if he left the house and shot at a police officer and missed, he would be charged with first degree assault in Douglas County. (C.R.S. 18-3-202 [e]).
Arapahoe County Lawyer for Menacing and Assault Charges
Menacing is all about the threat of injury. As soon as those threats become real and you cause bodily injury to another, whether knowingly, recklessly, or negligently, you can be charged with Assault. If you are facing charges for Menacing or Assault in Arapahoe County, be smart. If contacted by police, exercise your right to remain silent and contact an experienced defense lawyer at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.