Kansas Kidnapping Laws: The Types of Charges and Penalties

The charges of kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping are felonies in Kansas. They carry a possible penalty of 55 months to 653 months in prison.

Kidnapping charges in Kansas are serious criminal offenses, and a conviction could send defendants to prison for decades. However, unlike the way that movies and TV shows usually portray kidnappings, these cases aren’t always so clear-cut.

The accusations leveled against a defendant are often disputable, and prosecutors may overcharge the suspect with a felony when a misdemeanor offense is more appropriate. Or, the facts of the case might not justify kidnapping charges at all.

If you or a loved one have been charged with kidnapping, it’s important to immediately contact a criminal attorney who can fight for your rights.

What are the different types of kidnapping charges?

Under Kansas law, there are two types of kidnapping charges: kidnapping and aggravated kidnapping. Additionally, state statute includes the charge of criminal restraint, which is a similar offense to kidnapping.

Kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, and criminal restraint include similar criminal elements. But they carry the potential for vastly different punishments, ranging from a year in jail to more than 50 years in prison. This makes it especially important to hire an experienced criminal attorney who can develop a defense strategy to either lower or dismiss these types of charges.

How is kidnapping defined under the statute?

In Kansas, kidnapping is a level 3 felony defined as taking or confining a person by force, threat, or deception with the intent to hold them:

A defendant convicted of kidnapping in Kansas could be sentenced anywhere from 55 months to 247 months in prison, depending on their criminal record. They could also be fined up to $300,000.

Aggravated kidnapping is a level 1 felony that’s defined as physically harming a person who is kidnapped. The possible sentence ranges from 147 months to 653 months in prison with a fine up to $300,000.

What is criminal restraint?

Criminal restraint is defined by Kansas law as knowingly and without legal authority restraining another person so as to substantially interfere with their liberty. The charge is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.

The charge of criminal restraint doesn’t include law enforcement officers lawfully performing their duties. Additionally, it doesn’t include store owners or employees detaining someone they have probable cause to believe has taken or is about to wrongfully take merchandise from the business. The owner or employee can only detain the person in a reasonable manner for a reasonable amount of time.

What are the legal defenses against kidnapping charges?

People who are arrested for kidnapping have several defense strategies they can use to either lessen the punishment or dismiss the charges altogether. Similar to other types of criminal charges, the facts of a kidnapping case are often unclear and may favor the defendant during plea negotiations or a trial.

Some common defenses against kidnapping charges include:

If you’ve been charged with kidnapping in Kansas, contact the Koop Law Firm for skilled legal counsel. Jeremy D. Koop has years of experience as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney, gaining valuable insight into effective ways to fight kidnapping and criminal restraint charges.

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.

Kansas Robbery Laws: What to Know and Legal Defenses

Robbery and aggravated robbery are felony charges in Kansas. If convicted, a defendant could go to prison for over 20 years, depending on their record.

Robbery charges in Kansas are serious criminal offenses that can dramatically impact the future of defendants. A conviction may result in decades in prison and hundreds of thousands in fines, depending on the suspect’s criminal record.

As with any felony-level crime, it could make getting a job and finding housing much more difficult. Additionally, someone convicted of robbery may be required to register as a violent offender for the rest of their life.

However, defendants can fight robbery charges with the assistance of a skilled criminal defense attorney in Kansas. Experienced defense attorneys are knowledgeable of effective strategies to lessen the punishment or avoid prison time.

Types of robbery charges

There are two types of robbery charges under Kansas statute: robbery and aggravated robbery.

Robbery is defined as knowingly taking property from another person or in the presence of another person by force or the threat of bodily harm. It’s a level 5 felony with a possible sentence of 31 to 136 months in prison and a fine up to $100,000.

Aggravated robbery is defined as a robbery that was committed by a person who was either armed with a dangerous weapon or who inflicted bodily harm during the robbery. It’s a level 3 felony with a possible sentence of 55 to 247 months in prison and a fine up to $300,000.

Robbery vs. theft vs. burglary

The term robbery is sometimes used synonymously with theft and burglary, but they’re distinctly different crimes with different possible punishments under Kansas law.

Legal defenses against robbery charges

Someone accused of robbery or aggravated robbery has various legal defenses, which may help them avoid prison or beat the charges altogether. Some common defenses include mistaken identity, lack of a weapon or injury, and questioning whether the robbery was successful.

If you’ve been charged with robbery in Kansas, it’s important to immediately contact an attorney. Jeremy D. Koop has years of experience as both a prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney in Kansas, gaining insight into the most effective ways to fight robbery charges. Contact the Koop Law Firm for an aggressive and skilled defense.

Understanding Kansas Assault Charges and Common Defenses

Kansas law has four types of assault charges with sentences that range from a month in jail to nearly four years in prison, depending on your criminal record.

Kansas law defines assault as intentionally putting someone in fear of immediate physical danger. This could be an act or a threat of action that causes someone to believe they could be harmed. In some states, an assault charge involves physical contact. However, bodily contact isn’t necessary for someone to be charged and convicted of assault in Kansas.

There are four types of assault charges under state law: assault, aggravated assault, assault of a law enforcement officer, and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. The maximum sentences range from one month in jail to nearly four years in prison, depending on the type of assault charge, the circumstances of the case and the criminal history of the defendant.

If you’re arrested for assault, it’s important to immediately hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who’s knowledgeable of effective defenses against these types of charges.

Simple assault

The charge of assault in Kansas, which is commonly referred to as a simple assault, is a class C misdemeanor. The maximum sentence is one month in jail and a fine up to $500. A prosecutor must prove that the defendant acted intentionally and it was reasonable for the victim to believe they could be physically harmed.

Although a misdemeanor assault charge may not seem as serious as other charges, a conviction can have a significant impact on your life. It could result in more serious criminal sentences in the future, increased bail amounts, and restraining orders.

Aggravated assault

In Kansas, aggravated assault is an assault committed with a deadly weapon, while disguised in any manner to conceal identity, or with the intent to commit a felony. A conviction carries a possible sentence of 11 to 34 months in prison and a fine up to $100,000.

A defendant accused of using a firearm during an aggravated assault faces the possibility of additional punishment in Kansas. The state’s sentencing guidelines specify that prison time rather than probation is the appropriate sentence – even for defendants with little to no criminal record.  Additionally, the defendant could be required to register as a violent offender with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can negotiate with prosecutors to potentially remove prison as the presumed punishment and the requirement that the defendant register as a violent offender.

Assault and aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer

Under Kansas law, the charge of assault of a law enforcement officer is defined as assaulting a uniformed or properly identified state, county, city, or campus law enforcement officer while they’re on duty. The charge is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500.

Aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer is committing aggravated assault against a uniformed or properly identified state, county, city, or campus law enforcement officer while they’re on duty. The charge is a level 6 felony with a maximum sentence of 46 months in prison and a fine up to $100,000.

Similar to aggravated assault with a firearm, defendants face a stiffer punishment if they’re convicted of aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer. State sentencing guidelines suggest that a defendant go to prison rather than get probation, even if they have little to no criminal record. Additionally, they may be required to register as a violent offender.

Common defenses against assault charges

A defendant accused of assault has numerous possible defenses against the charge. As part of plea negotiations or a criminal trial, some defenses include the following:

If you’ve been charged with assault in Kansas, contact the Koop Law Firm. Jeremy D. Koop has an extensive background in violent crimes cases, both as a former prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer. He will provide the vigorous defense you deserve to protect your rights.

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.

How a Felony Can Affect Your Life

A felony conviction will have a tremendous impact on your life. Convicted felons lose the right to vote, hold public office, and serve on a jury. Additionally, felons may lose the right to own or possess firearms. Some felonies will have a greater impact than others, and some may be eligible for a felony expungement process. According to the American Bar Association, an expungement is “the process by which a record of a criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed from state or federal record.” An expungement is not a pardon. A pardon is forgiveness for the offense, and an expungement seals the criminal record.

Each state is responsible for creating laws about which types of crimes are eligible for expungement as well as how the felony expungement process works in that state. Some states limit expungement to minors, and some allow adults to petition for expungement as well.

Once a person is past the required time since the conviction or diversion, or was released from probation, community correctional services program, parole, post-release supervision, conditional release or a suspended sentence, they may be eligible for expungement.

Types of Offenses Eligible for Expungement

In Kansas, there are rules about which convictions and diversions are eligible for expungement. The felony expungement process cannot be started until one, three, five, seven or ten years past the conviction, depending on the crime. Below are some offenses that could be eligible for the felony expungement process.

Ineligible Offenses

Some crimes are ineligible for expungement by statute. Retain an experienced defense attorney to help navigate your rights. Call Koop Law Firm for criminal expungement in the State of Kansas. Below is a list of ineligible offenses in Kansas.

People who may have been eligible for expungement may be ineligible if they have been convicted of a subsequent felony or are facing current charges. In addition, the behavior of the petitioner can make them ineligible for expungement. The court may also determine that expungement is not in the best interest of the public including if the petitioner is deemed a threat to the public if their right to own a firearm is restored.

Need an Attorney?

If you’ve been convicted of a crime, you need aggressive representation to guide you through the expungement process. Contact Jeremy D. Koop to represent you when seeking an expungement.

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.

What is the Role of a Prosecutor in the Criminal Justice System?

Many who are charged with a crime don’t understand the role of a prosecutor. As part of the justice system, the prosecutor has an important function. The prosecutor works with law enforcement and witnesses in the prosecution of criminal cases prior to and during the court process.  The lead prosecutor of a county is called a County Attorney, the lead prosecutor of a State Judicial District is called a District Attorney and the lead prosecutor of a Federal District is called a U.S. Attorney.    

What Do Prosecuting Attorneys Do? 

A prosecutor is “an administrator of justice, a zealous advocate, and an officer of the court.” As such they have a variety of duties. 

Seek Justice 

First and foremost, the prosecutor should not just seek to convict, but to seek the truth and work within the law. This requires integrity and objectivity. A prosecutor should understand and respect the constitutional and legal rights provided to defendants and suspects.  

A prosecutor should work within the law and not seek prosecution if there isn’t sufficient evidence. Prosecutors can also consider alternatives to prosecution and conviction for defendants, if appropriate. An example of this could be a diversion program. 

Abide by Rules of Professional Conduct  

Each jurisdiction will have its own rules about professional conduct, but as a rule, prosecutors should avoid the appearance of impropriety and seek guidance if the rules about conduct aren’t clear. The appearance of impropriety is when a prosecutor acts in a way that negatively affects the ability of the prosecutor to be fair, impartial, objective or lacks integrity. Additionally, prosecutors should not offer evidence or make statements they don’t reasonably believe is true.  

Representation in Court 

The client of the prosecutor is the public. The prosecutor will represent the public in court by initiating the criminal case by filing charges.  Specially prosecutors file motions, make objections, and represent the government at trial.

Need an Attorney? 

Jeremy D. Koop is a former prosecutor. He understands the complexity of the judicial system and can help clients navigate the process as a zealous advocate for them. Contact The Koop Law Firm for a free consultation. 

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.

What is the Role of Criminal Defense Lawyers?

When people are charged with a crime in the United States, they rely on criminal defense lawyers to represent them in court. The defense attorney has an important role in the judicial process.

What Do Criminal Defense Lawyers Do?

The criminal defense attorney is an advocate for the person charged with the crime and fights for their rights in court. The person charged with the crime is innocent until proven guilty, and it is the job of the defense attorney to help provide reasonable doubt to the jury.

Research, Strategy & Documentation

The defense attorney will conduct research in the case they are working on to develop a strategy for defending the accused. Strategy is vital to the case of anyone accused of a crime. The defense attorney will research previous cases, comb through the current case, and develop strategies to provide the best outcome for their clients. Additionally, the defense attorney will prepare all the required legal documents including legal briefs and appeals.

Legal Counsel

One of the main roles of a defense attorney is to provide legal counsel for their client. Legal counsel includes explaining the law to their clients in a way that is easy for them to understand. In addition, defense attorneys explain the legal options available for their clients.  These options may include plea deals, possible sentences, and whether to go to trial. Staying on top of current laws is an important part of legal counsel.

Representation in Court

Defense lawyers will also represent their clients in court, at arraignments, and hearings. If the case does go to trial, the attorney will present evidence to a jury or a judge. The defense attorney is responsible for creating the arguments necessary to establish reasonable doubt. If a plea deal is offered, the attorney will negotiate with the prosecutor and present the options to the client.

Skills Required

Overall, the goal of the defense attorney is to find the best outcome for their client. To do this, the attorney must be an excellent researcher, public speaker, negotiator, and keep themselves informed about changes in the law.

Need an Attorney?

Jeremy D. Koop is a former prosecutor who understands what it takes to win a case for a defendant. If you’ve been charged with a crime, you need someone who will aggressively defend you. Contact the Koop Law Firm for a free consultation.

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.

Methamphetamine Sale and Distribution Charges

In Kansas, if a person is caught by police and is suspected of selling or distributing methamphetamine they can be charged with intent to distribute. The penalties for being convicted of intent to distribute meth can be decades in prison.  The amount of time one may be subject to in prison is often dependent on the amount of drugs seized by law enforcement.  These are steep consequences for those charged with methamphetamine sale and distribution.  

How Does Someone Get Charged with Intent to Sell? 

Methamphetamine sale and distribution charges often stem from police searches. Some of these searches are a result of being pulled over and a vehicle being searched. For others, charges stem from the search of a home when a warrant has been issued (it doesn’t matter what the warrant is for).  

Sometimes drug dogs are used to sniff out drugs that may be hidden in vehicles, homes, lockers, or on personal property. Confidential informants used by police to set up drug deals can also lead to the arrest of someone for possession and intent to distribute. It is possible that these searches may be illegal according to the Fourth Amendment, and if so, the charges could be dismissed. Evidence collected from an illegal search is called “fruit of the poisonous tree” and can’t be used. An experienced attorney like Jeremy D. Koop will fight for your rights and provide a zealous defense for your case—exploring all the options available for your defense. 

What Happens if I’m Charged with Methamphetamine Sale and Distribution? 

Being charged with intent to distribute is serious. The first step you should take is to contact a lawyer such as Jeremy D. Koop to help prepare your defense.  

Whether or not your charges are state or federal depends on several factors. The amount of drugs and anything such as scales, baggies, or drug paraphernalia can indicate to police that there is an intent to distribute which can lead to more serious charges — including federal charges. 

The law also states that it doesn’t matter if a person doesn’t know how much methamphetamine they have, was standing in for another person who was the actual buyer or seller.  

Whatever the situation, being charged with intent to distribute methamphetamine — or any controlled substance — is extremely serious and the defense should be placed in the capable hands of an experienced attorney. 

Need Help? 

If you’ve been charged with a drug crime, including intent to distribute methamphetamine, contact the Koop Law Firm immediately. We will provide a free consultation and see how we can fight for you. 

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.

What are the Roles of the Judge in a Criminal Trial?

Many people may understand the role of attorneys in a criminal case. However, many people don’t understand the role of the judge in a criminal trial. The judge has several responsibilities in a criminal trial, but their overarching job is to protect the rights of the accused and protect the interests of public administration.  

Roles of a Judge in a Criminal Trial 

Judges are to remain impartial in a criminal trial. Impartiality means that they are fair to both sides of the case – the defendant and the prosecutors. Trial judges generally do not have contact with the defendant, victims, witnesses, members of either side’s families, or the counsel without both parties present. The judge should strive to conduct themselves at all times in a manner that is above reproach, and not bring any appearance of bias. 

Preside and Keep Order 

Another role of a judge in criminal court is to preside over the court proceedings. As part of this role, the judge will maintain order in the court. A judge may say “order in the court” when people in the courtroom are being disruptive. This is the warning to all those in the courtroom that they need to follow the rules of the court.  

Make Decisions on Evidence 

The judge will also determine if evidence can be used or if it is illegal, improper, or irrelevant. In these cases, the judge may determine that the evidence is inadmissible in court. Some reasons evidence may be inadmissible could be that it is unfairly prejudicial, confusing, or based on hearsay. 

Instructions on the Law to the Jury, or Give Verdict 

Additionally, the judge gives the jury instructions about the law and how it applies to the case. Also, the judge instructs the jury on standards they must use to make their decision during deliberations. They will also explain the duties of the jury including the government’s duty to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction. If reasonable doubt is present, an acquittal. In the case of a bench trial, or a trial without a jury, it is up to the judge to determine the facts about the case and give a verdict. 

Sentencing 

If a defendant is convicted, the judge will decide the sentence. The sentence should be sufficient but not greater than necessary. The goal of the sentence is to reflect the seriousness of the offense and deter other criminal conduct and promote respect for the law. 

Appellate courts review the processes and procedures of lower courts to ensure that the proceedings were fair and that the law was applied correctly.  

We Can Help 

The roles of a judge in a criminal trial are important, but so is your defense. If you are charged with a crime, Koop Law Firm can help. Jeremy D. Koop is a former prosecutor and understands how to best fight for you. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.

Marijuana Laws in Kansas

Marijuana Laws in Kansas

Marijuana laws across the country come with varying degrees of legalization. However, marijuana is still illegal in the state of Kansas.

While marijuana is the most used drug in the United States, it is illegal to possess marijuana in Kansas for personal use. In addition, it is illegal to sell or distribute marijuana in Kansas. Moreover, possession of marijuana is a crime and even small amounts can result in jail time.

What are the penalties?

Possession and distribution of marijuana come with a variety of penalties depending on several factors. For instance, criminal history and type of marijuana involved. Learn more about the offenses and consequences below.

First-time offense

A first-time offense is a Class B, nonperson misdemeanor. As a result, first-time offenses can carry up to six months in county jail.

Second-time offense

A second-time offense is a Class A, nonperson misdemeanor. This means the conviction is punishable by up to 12 months in county jail in addition to a fine.

Third-time offense

A third-time marijuana conviction is a felony offense and can carry up to 42 months in prison.

Additional consequences

Often, people will get probation with treatment when they’re convicted of a marijuana crime in the state of Kansas. However, this can carry serious implications, like with future employment, for instance.

Consequences are even more serious if you’re facing charges of marijuana distribution, which can result in years in prison.

Contact Koop Law Firm for aggressive representation

If you’re facing marijuana charges, or if you’ve been arrested for a marijuana offense, you have the right to an aggressive defense.

Jeremy D. Koop is a former prosecutor with experience on both sides of the courtroom providing zealous defense. Contact Koop Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with our team who will fight for your rights.

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.

Preliminary Hearings

Preliminary Hearings

If you’re charged in state court with a felony crime, you likely have the right to a preliminary hearing.

What is a preliminary hearing?

A preliminary hearing is one of the first steps in a criminal case and is a smaller version of a trial. The hearing is in front of a judge instead of a jury. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if there is probable cause that a crime occurred.  Probable cause is a much lower standard of proof than the standard of proof required at trial, which is beyond a reasonable doubt.

What to expect at a preliminary hearing

The hearing is a brief court appearance with the judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and defendant present.

The prosecutor will call in a few witnesses to determine whether there is enough evidence to show that the case should proceed to trial. While this is not the full jury trial list, there are select witnesses which will testify.

Advantages of preliminary hearings

There are many advantages to moving forward with a preliminary hearing. This hearing is a great opportunity for the defendant to learn what evidence is against them.

Additionally, the defendant and defense attorney will find out what evidence in the case will look like at the trial.

In some cases, witnesses will make mistakes during the preliminary hearing and as a result, those statements can be used against them at the jury trial.

You have the right to a competent lawyer that will fight for your rights

If you’re facing a felony criminal charge in a state court, you are entitled to representation from a competent defense attorney.

Koop Law Firm represents clients facing a variety of criminal charges such as violent crimes, property crimes, DUI & drug crimes, traffic offenses, and more.

If you need representation at your preliminary hearing, contact former prosecutor, Jeremy D. Koop today.

The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice; it is for general informational purposes only.