Menacing

To be charged with menacing, you must make someone believe that you will physically harm them, their unborn child, their family member(s) or their property.

If they believe you will cause serious physical harm, then you may be charged with aggravated menacing, which carries more severe penalties.

Finally, menacing by stalking is charged when you either repeatedly acted in a way that convinced someone you were going to cause mental distress or physically harm them, or you encouraged someone else to do so through electronic means (the Internet, texting, etc.). These also apply if you had sexual motives.

Nearly every day in central Ohio people are charged with menacing. Depending on the severity of the allegations, possession of criminal tools charges can range from a fourth degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail to a fourth degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison.

If you are convicted of possession of menacing, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings


Simply put, if you are convicted of menacing, it can potentially be on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you run the risk of being considered someone who at best bothers and at worst threatens others. Therefore, it is critical that you give your menacing charge the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus Criminal Defense team takes an aggressive and comprehensive approach when representing clients charged with menacing. First and foremost, we will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made during their investigation, whether the prosecuting witness is fabricating the charges any other legal issues that can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, witness statements and potentially video or audio. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients charged with menacing. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

Contact us today!

Are you in trouble? Contact us.

If you’ve been charged with menacing, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com.


This is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A jail sentence of up to 30 days

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $250
This is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A jail sentence of up to 180 days

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $1,000
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A prison term of six to 18 months

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $5,000
This is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A jail sentence of up to 180 days

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $1,000
This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A prison term of six months to one year

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $2,500
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A prison term of six to 18 months

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $5,000
If any of the following apply, it’s a felony of the fourth degree:

  • You’ve previously been convicted of this or aggravated trespass
  • You threatened physical harm or incited someone via electronic means to make a threat against someone
  • You or the person you incited via electronics trespassed where the victim lives, works or goes to school
  • The victim is under 18
  • You have a history of violence or violent acts
  • You had a deadly weapon
  • You were already ordered to stay away from someone (regardless if that person was the victim)
  • You or the person you incited damaged either the victim’s land or the property on that land
  • Before committing the offense, a judge had already determined that you were a serious threat to others because of recent homicidal or other violent behavior, threats made against others or other indications of dangerousness

The penalties are as follows:

    • A prison term of six to 18 months

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $5,000

Otherwise, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A jail sentence of up to 180 days

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $1,000
This is a felony of the fifth degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A prison term of six months to one year

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $2,500
This is a felony of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:

    • A prison term of six to 18 months

      • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments

  • At most, a fine of $5,000


Have a question we didn’t answer below? Feel free to email us or call us and we’ll help you out.

This is an Ohio policy where an officer can arrest you on mere suspicion of menacing by stalking or violating a protection order, rather than having to obtain a warrant first.If you believe the officer did not fulfill his duties in any way, your best course of action is to consult with a competent, experienced criminal defense attorney to learn all the options available to you.

While a criminal protection order only lasts until the trial is over, both of the latter protection orders can last for up to five years (and then be renewed, if needed).


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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335
advice@columbuscriminalattorney.com

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FAX: (614) 413-2886