Domestic Violence and Assault Laws in Missouri and Kansas
Every year, thousands of people become victims of domestic violence and assault throughout Missouri and Kansas. In 2017 alone, there were 22,708 incidents of domestic violence reported in Kansas, and 45,558 reported in Missouri. While these numbers are staggering, all hope is not lost for victims of domestic violence, and those who may have been falsely accused. There are domestic violence and assault laws in place for the safety and protection of individuals.
If you are facing domestic violence and assault charges, contact Kitchin Law Firm to discuss your options for the right type of legal representation.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is defined as any verbal and/or physical abuse from simple assault to murder, with more serious cases. Similarly, it can be referred to as an act of violence against a person that the offender is involved or has previously been involved in an intimate relationship with. Or, an act of violence against or by a family or household member. Many times, domestic violence offenders use physical and bodily force to use as harm against their victims.
Actions involving domestic violence & assault include (but are not limited to):
- Thrown objects
- Pushing or shoving
- Hitting, punching or other physical assault
- Taking or breaking cell phone or other property
In the United States alone, more than 10 million women and men are victims of domestic violence every year. And, the numbers keep rising.
The average number of people who experience physical abuse by an intimate partner in the U.S. are 20 people per minute.
Data shows that 85% affected by domestic violence are female and 15% are male.
1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are victims of contact sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner. Which often times leads to injury, fear, PTSD or the need for professional help.
Across 15 different states, more than 40% of women homicides involved intimate partner violence.
Nearly 5 million children witness domestic violence every year. This type of exposure may increase the likelihood of kids abusing drugs and alcohol, running away from home, committing sexual assault crimes or attempting suicide.
Many cases of domestic violence never make it to the police.
Domestic Violence & Assault Laws in Missouri
In Missouri, there are specific laws and regulations in place to protect individuals from domestic violence and assault. A person violates domestic violence laws in Missouri when they make the attempt to cause physical harm to a member of their family or household. Missouri categorizes domestic assault into three degrees with differentiating penalties.
Penalties incurred for domestic assault in Missouri vary by the degree of the assault.
As of 01/01/2017 the degrees and penalties for domestic assault are:
When the offender attempts to kill or cause serious physical injury to a family or household member. This is a Class B felony, unless the offender inflicts serious physical injury on the victim, then it’s a Class A felony. A Class B felony carries a prison sentence of 5 to 15 years. And, a Class A felony carries a prison sentence of 10 to 30 years, or life imprisonment.
When the offender either knowingly causes physical injury, recklessly causes serious physical injury, or causes physical injury by means of a deadly weapon to a family or household member. This is a Class D felony, which carries a prison sentence not to exceed 7 years.
When the offender attempts to cause physical injury or knowingly causes physical pain or illness to a family or household member. This is a Class E felony, which carries a prison sentence not to exceed 4 years.
When the offender does any of the following:
- Attempts to cause or recklessly causes physical injury to a family or household member.
- Negligently causes physical injury to a family or household member with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- Placing a family or household member in apprehension of immediate physical injury.
- Recklessly engages in conduct that creates a grave risk to a family or household member.
- Knowingly causes physical contact with a family or household member and knowing that the other person will regard the contact as offensive.
- Knowingly attempts to cause or causes the isolation of a family or household member. This happens through unreasonably restricting or limiting family or household member access to other people. Such as, telecommunication devices or transportation for the purpose of isolation.
Domestic assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the offender receives a domestic assault conviction in the third degree more than two times, then it’s a Class D felony. A Class A misdemeanor carries a punishment of up to 12 months in jail, and a fine of $2,000.00. And, a Class D felony carries a prison sentence not to exceed 7 years.
There are several other things offenders can be charged that compromise their family members’ safety and wellbeing. This includes: stalking, false imprisonment, parental kidnapping, elderly abuse, rape and sexual abuse against a child.
Domestic Violence Laws in Kansas
Similar to Missouri, there are laws and regulations in Kansas that serve to protect family and household members from domestic violence. Those classified as family and household members include: spouses, former spouses, parents, children, a roommate or previous roommate. Likewise, this involves individuals who have a child together, or those who were previously in an intimate relationship.
A person violates domestic violence laws in Kansas when a threat or act of violence happens against a family or member of the household. Penalties for domestic violence depend on the type of crime and history of prior convictions. Those with compounding convictions can expect to see a rise in penalties.
For example, if convicted a second time within 5 years, it’s a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $1,000 in fines. If an individual receives a third or subsequent conviction within a 5 year period, it is a felony that results in up to 1 year in prison and $7,500 in fines.
Victims who have experienced domestic violence abuse in Kansas have the option to seek an “order of protection” as an extra measure of protection against their abuser. With a restraining order in place, the abuser is prohibited from coming within a specific distance of the victim.
Upon violating a restraining or protective order, it is classified as a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum jail time of one year, and up to $2,500 in fines.
Talk to Kitchin Law Firm
Situations involving domestic violence can be complex to navigate through. With Kitchin Law Firm, you don’t have to handle your case alone. We understand the long-term effects domestic violence can have on your life and your future. And, we’ll do what what it takes to help you reach a positive outcome.
If you’ve found yourself in this difficult situation, it’s important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your case. John Kitchin will work hard to to protect you, your rights. and your future.
Ready to take the next step? Give us a call to schedule your free consultation today.