Assault and battery are terms that readers may have heard on the news or read about in the newspaper. These crimes are often alleged when individuals are threatened or subjected to violence by others.
However, there is a third crime that covers these actions as well, and this crime is called menacing.
To be charged with menacing, a person must threaten to use force or actually use physical force to knowingly cause another person to fear that they will be seriously injured. While some menacing charges will be filed as misdemeanors, certain factors can elevate menacing charges to felonies.
For example, if a person uses a deadly weapon in the commission of a menacing act, their misdemeanor charge may become a felony charge. A weapon need not be deadly for this type of charge elevation; it must only cause the alleged victim to fear that it is deadly. Additionally, a misdemeanor menacing charge can be elevated to a felony if the alleged aggressor claims that they have a deadly weapon on them.
A charge of menacing can be met with a number of different sanctions. If it is tried and convicted as a class 5 felony, the individual accused of menacing can face two years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and additional time on parole. No one should have to take on criminal charges on their own, and, for this reason, criminal defense attorneys offer their clients case-specific support for overcoming their legal trials and the serious criminal penalties that come with them.