Murder Charges

Murder Charges

Of all crimes that can be committed, murder is one of the most serious and severely punishable offenses in the United States. However, murder charges are based upon the defendant’s state of mind when committing the crime.

Levels of Murder

The Kansas Statutes outlines the levels of murder one can commit: Capital Murder, Murder in the First Degree, and Murder in the Second Degree.

Capital Murder

Capital murder is the intentional and premeditated killing of a person in conjunction with another crime such as kidnapping, the intentional and premeditated killing of a law enforcement officer, a contract to kill someone, or killing of more than one person in the same scheme.

Penalty for Capital Murder

The sentence upon conviction in Kansas is generally the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Murder in the First Degree

There are two types of murder in the first degree. The first is premediated murder, where the defendant acted intentionally and with premeditation during the murder.

The second type is felony murder, which is committed when a person dies while committing another felony crime.

Penalties for Murder in the First Degree

Generally, the penalty in Kansas is a life sentence with the possibility of parole in 25 years for felony murder and the possibility of parole in 50 years for premeditated murder.

Murder in the Second Degree

There are two types of murder in the second degree. The first is when the defendant acts intentionally during the killing. 

The second type is reckless second-degree murder. This happens when the defendant kills another person unintentionally—but recklessly, and under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Penalties for Murder in the Second Degree

The potential penalty for intentional second-degree murder is based upon the defendant’s criminal history, but in Kansas it ranges from 147 months to 653 months in prison. 

The potential penalty for reckless second-degree murder in Kansas varies from 109 to 493 months in prison based upon the defendant’s criminal history.

Former Prosecutor Jeremy D. Koop is on Your Side

If you or a loved one has recently been accused of committing any level of murder, you should contact former Prosecutor Jeremy D. Koop for help. Jeremy has successfully tried murder cases and has an extensive background in violent crimes and complex criminal cases. Most importantly, Jeremy will provide you with the aggressive defense you need when fighting your case.

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

Gun Charges Explained

Gun Charges Explained

In general, gun charges cover a broad range of offenses involving a firearm.

The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”

While the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, there are restrictions and limitations.

How can my rights be restricted?

There are a variety of reasons your rights may be specifically restricted. In some situations, it is considered unlawful for an individual to possess a firearm if they do not have a permit. Restrictions also come into play if someone is a convicted felon. Once an individual has been convicted of a felony such as a drug crime, a violent offense, misdemeanor, or domestic violence crimes, they face such restrictions.

To clarify, this restriction may apply for 5 years, 10 years, or as a lifetime prohibition on the possession of firearms. However, it depends on the crime of conviction. In general, the more severe or serious the prior crime, the longer the prohibition period.

Furthermore, when a violent crime is committed with a firearm, the sentence is commonly presumed to be imprisonment and the offender is usually required to register as a violent offender.

Speak with a Criminal Defense Lawyer to understand your rights

Gun laws vary by state, and there are limitations and restrictions depending on an individual’s background or history. Jeremy Koop can help if you're facing criminal charges due to weapons violations

A felony conviction can carry serious consequences such as prison time and a criminal record that will follow you forever. An experienced attorney like Jeremy D. Koop can help you protect your rights and prepare the best defense possible for your case. Contact us today.

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

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution

The Fourth Amendment

The Constitution defines the Fourth Amendment as, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

In layman’s terms, this means that the government (police) must have probable cause to arrest you or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to detain you. With some limited exceptions, it also means that police must have probable cause to search you, your home, your workplace, or your vehicle. Sometimes a warrant is required and at other times there is an exception to the warrant requirement.

What is probable cause?

Probable cause has been defined by the United States Supreme Court as, “reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man in the belief that the party is guilty of the offense with which he is charged.” Dumbra v. United States, 268 U.S. 435 (1925)

How does law enforcement get probable cause?

Probable cause can be derived from a variety of sources.

Information – statements given by witnesses or victims.

Observation – information gathered by an officer’s inspection or examination.

Sensory – an officer can detect evidence of a crime through sight, sound, or smell.

Expertise – an officer can rely on personal background to evaluate the possibility of criminal activity.

What can law enforcement do under the Fourth Amendment?

Arrest

An arrest can occur when a law enforcement officer uses legal authority to restrict a suspect’s freedom of movement. However, to make an arrest the police must have probable cause.

Detainment

Police must have reasonable suspicion that criminal activity has taken place before detaining a person. Detaining someone requires a lower level of proof of criminal activity than probable cause. This is known as reasonable suspicion. The United States Supreme Court lays out the requirements for detention in Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968).

Search warrants

To obtain and initiate a search warrant, an officer must have probable cause. A law enforcement officer must ultimately present an affidavit to a judge or magistrate to obtain a search warrant. However, there are exceptions to these requirements, and many searches can take place without a warrant. For instance, one such exception is for the search for an automobile. This is known as the Carroll doctrine from the United States Supreme Court case Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132 (1925). In addition, another exception is search incident to arrest. Under this exception, if police have probable cause to arrest, they can also search the individual being arrested. 

Contact Wichita’s Criminal Defense Attorney

We are a trusted and experienced defense attorney team at Koop Law Firm. If you have been arrested and are facing charges based on a search that was done with or without a warrant, contact us today.

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