MENACING - THE CRIME DU JOUR DURING COVID
Interestingly enough, it appears social distancing and the lockdown led to an increase in persons carrying firearms on their person and in their automobiles. Pursuant to the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and/or Article II Section 13 of the Colorado Constitution, it is lawful for an adult to possess a firearm on their person or in their cars. If the firearm is concealed on the person, a valid Concealed Weapon Permit (CW Permit) is needed. A CW permit is not needed if the firearm is located in the confines of an automobile.
Persons carrying a firearm (or really any weapon) must be careful to avoid confrontations with other persons especially while inside of an automobile. Menacing is the crime of placing another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury either by threat or physical action. C.R.S. Section 18-3-206. Menacing is a Class 3 misdemeanor (punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail) but if the threat or physical action was done while "flashing" a deadly weapon, the offense is a Class 5 Felony (presumptive sentence between 1 and 3 years of prison).
The statutory language reads as follows:
§ 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.
There are several defenses to the charge of menacing. However, the fact a firearm was not loaded or that the firearm was actually a toy is not a defense. The reason an unloaded firearm or realistic toy gun is not a defense is because the "actus reas" (the action or conduct which is a constituent element of the crime) is "placing another person in fear." This other person may not know the gun is not loaded or the gun is a fake.
Nonetheless, defenses to menacing may include self-defense, defense of others, or defense of property. If you or a loved once has been charged with Menacing or any type of crime, call Denver's Premier Criminal Defenders at LFM Defense.