Menacing, Assault and Harassment vs. Self Defense – A Common Conflict
The crimes of Menacing, Assault and Harassment are directly at odds with the affirmative defense of Self Defense in Jefferson County, Colorado. Let’s look at why one of the most commonly charged felony crimes conflicts with one of the most important statutory defenses available to men and women in Colorado. Use of Self Defense.
Arapahoe County Menacing Definition Under C.R.S. 18-3-206
In Aurora, Littleton and Centennial, Menacing is defined as when:
(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.
Even the simplest gesture can be construed as a threat when tensions are high. Yet many people suggest deadly force to protect themselves from someone bigger or more powerful than them. This is self defense.
Douglas County, Colorado, Self Defense Law, C.R.S. 18-1-704
There are several affirmative defenses available in Colorado, including Self Defense. Proper use of this defense will increase the burden of proof which the District Attorney must meet at trial. C.R.S. 18-1-704 provides that you can use physical force against another person to defend yourself or another person from the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force against you, by another. This force must be reasonable in light of the threat you are facing. “Imminent use of unlawful physical force” suggests that you do not need to wait to protect yourself until you are attacked.
Adams County and Denver County Defense Lawyer’s Conflict
Here is the problem: Menacing says you were using the threat of force against another. Self defense legally justifies such a threat or showing of potential force. Denver Police and Adams County Deputies don’t care about your defense – they only look at the crime and whether you committed it technically. The sorry part of their tunnel vision is that criminal defense attorneys often need to take a case to trial for someone to seriously consider and give effect to the law of self defense.
If you are facing charges of assault, harassment or Menacing, call our 24/7 defense lawyers at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.