Domestic Violence Attorney in Kansas City
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND ASSAULT LAWS IN MISSOURI AND KANSAS
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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 assault laws in place for the safety and protection of individuals. If you are facing domestic violence and assault charges, contact the Kitchin Law Firm to discuss your options for the right type of legal representation.
Actions involving domestic violence and assault include (but are not limited to):
- Thrown objects
- Pushing or shoving
- Hitting, punching or other physical assault
- Taking or breaking cell phones 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 and/or stalking by an intimate partner. Which often leads to injury, fear, PTSS or the need for professional help.
- Across 15 different states more than 40% of the women homicides involve 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.
If the police are called to investigate a domestic violence charge, somebody will be removed from the home, and with increasing social pressure and the media placing a spotlight on domestic violence cases law enforcement, prosecutor’s and the courts are handing out strict penalties for those accused and charged with domestic violence.
Direct penalties for DV charges can include jail, prison, fines and a criminal conviction. In addition, there could be indirect consequences, such as: loss of gun rights, loss of employment, loss of certain professional licenses, and you being barred from visiting or living with your family.
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 four 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. However, if the offender receives a domestic assault conviction in the third degree more than two times, then it’s a Class D felony.
An offender could be charged with fourth degree domestic assault if he or she does any of the following:
- Attempts to cause or reckless causes physical injury to a family or household member.
- Negligently causes injury to a family or household member with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
- Placing a family or household member in apprehension of immediately 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 purposes of isolation.
Domestic assault in the fourth degree is a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor carries a punishment of up to 12 months in jail, and a fine of $2,000.00.
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
Like Missouri, there are laws and regulations in Kansas that serve to protect 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 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 as follows:
- A first conviction is a Class B person misdemeanor punishable by up to 48 hours and a maximum of 6 months imprisonment, and a fine of up to $500.00.
- If convicted a second time within 5 years, it’s a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1-year imprisonment and up to $1,000.00 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 a year in prison and $7,500.00 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 a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum jail time of one year, and up to $2,500.00 fines.
POSSIBLE DEFENSES AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
If you are concerned that you may be the subject of a domestic violation charge, or if you have been arrested, it’s important for you to contact a Kansas City domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. Upon hire we will evaluate the police report of the incident, identify defenses and gather evidence to reinforce your defense. Possible domestic violence defenses are:
- Defense of Others – It may be necessary to use defensive force against someone who is a family or household member in order to prevent the family or household member from inflicting bodily harm or injury to another person.
- False Allegations (I did not do it, or she/he lied) – Some alleged domestic violence victims will falsely claim another family or household member committed domestic violence against them. There are many reasons a person may make these false accusations, including to gain custody of a child or children, to gain a favorable position in a divorce or just out of spite.
- Lack of Intent (It was an accident) – Intent to harm or cause fear in someone is required for many domestic violence offenses. An alleged offender’s charges could possibly be reduced to a lesser charge or dismissed if they did not have the statutorily required intent.
- Self Defense – Sometimes domestic violence accusations may come from the person who initiated the domestic violence or caused the situation to escalate. If the alleged victim provided or attacked the alleged offender, self-defense may have been necessary for the alleged offender to use.
- Beyond Reasonable Doubt – It is the prosecutor’s burden to prove you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. Your attorney will demonstrate that there are holes and weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, creating the doubt you need to be acquitted.
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 future. And, we’ll do what it takes to help you reach 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 protect you, your rights, and your future.
Ready to take the next step? Give us a call to schedule your free consultation today.