Menacing Law & Legal Definition


Menacing is a crime governed by state laws, which vary by state, but typically involves displaying a weapon or a course of conduct that intentionally places another person in reasonable fear of physical injury or death. The following is an example of a state law that deals with menacing:

S 120.13 Menacing in the first degree.

A person is guilty of menacing in the first degree when he or she commits the crime of menacing in the second degree and has been previously convicted of the crime of menacing in the second degree within the preceding ten years.

Menacing in the first degree is a class E felony.

S 120.14 Menacing in the second degree.


A person is guilty of menacing in the second degree when:

  1. He or she intentionally places or attempts to place another person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm; or
  2. He or she repeatedly follows a person or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts over a period of time intentionally placing or attempting to place another person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or
  3. He or she commits the crime of menacing in the third degree in violation of that part of a duly served order of protection, or such order which the defendant has actual knowledge of because he or she was present in court when such order was issued, pursuant to article eight of the family court act, section 530.12 of the criminal procedure law, or an order of protection issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in another state, territorial or tribal jurisdiction, which directed the respondent or defendant to stay away from the person or persons on whose behalf the order was issued.

Menacing in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.

S 120.15 Menacing in the third degree.

A person is guilty of menacing in the third degree when, by physical menace, he or she intentionally places or attempts to place another person in fear of death, imminent serious physical injury or physical injury.

Menacing in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor.