Domestic Assault, or Domestic Battery is an unfortunate reality in both Kansas and Missouri. Domestic Violence Laws are vigorously prosecuted on both sides of the State Line. These cases at the very least can cause emotional and physical pain to the victims and in extreme cases are potentially life-threatening. There are also domestic violence cases that are filed as a result of a a misunderstanding or argument between family members. A Judge can and usually will automatically issue a 'No Contact' Order preventing the accused individual from returning to the family home, which can be devastating to all parties.
If the other party is agreeable, we want to work with the Judge and Prosecutor's Office to get you back home as soon as possible, while ensuring the welfare of all those involved.
What Makes a Kansas Domestic Violence Charge Different from Assault or Battery?
In Kansas, what separates a charge of 'Domestic Violence' from an ordinary assault or battery charge is that the unlawful contact is between a family or household member against another household or family member. 'Family or Household member' means between adults 18 years or older who are married, formerly married, parents and children, stepparents or stepchildren, between persons living together, or who have formerly lived together, and persons who have a child together, regardless of whether they have ever been married or ever lived together. Domestic Violence / First Offense is a usually a Class B Misdemeanor in both states; however prosecutors will look at the severity and nature of the injury as well as prior convictions before filing charges.
Both Kansas and Missouri Domestic Violence Laws both contemplate relationships outside of traditional marriage or family, including individuals cohabiting, or those with a child in common.
What is The Kansas Definition of Domestic Battery?
Under Kansas Statute 21-5414 Domestic Battery is:
- Knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm by a family or household member against a family or household member or
- Knowingly causing physical contact with a family or household member by a family or household member when done in a rude, insulting, or angry manner. (Note: no bodily harm requirement)
Kansas Domestic Violence Cases are prosecuted at the State level in the respective District Court; for example Johnson County Kansas District Court has a dedicated Domestic Violence Division with five prosecutors assigned to prosecute over fifteen hundred criminal domestic violence cases per year. Kansas cases are not handled at the City / Municipal Court level; they are sent straight to the District Court in the respective county in which the alleged assault occurred..
Missouri Municipal Courts do usually handle Domestic Violence cases as misdemeanors. However Domestic Violence charges can be filed as a felony in Missouri State Court if the individual has a prior record of Domestic Violence or if there is serious physical injury involved, among other factors.
Kansas can also upgrade a Domestic Violence charge to a felony, based upon injury and any prior criminal history.
Know Your Rights: Consult With a Domestic Violence Attorney in Johnson County Kansas
If you have been charged with domestic violence you may be facing a Court Order prohibiting you from returning home or even contacting the other party. A criminal conviction could be used against you in a divorce, you could even be facing mandatory jail time, anger management classes, and stiff fines.
If you have been arrested for domestic violence contact a Kansas City Domestic Violence Lawyer to discuss your rights and how we can help you by defending your interests and pursuing the best possible outcome for your case.