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.

The Right to a Jury Trial

In the United States, a criminal defendant is guaranteed the right to trial by jury.

What is a Jury Trial?

A jury decides whether the defendant committed the crime. The trial is held in the state where the crimes were allegedly committed.

The right arises out of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which states “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”

Jury selection process

District courts randomly select citizens’ names from those with driver’s licenses and voter registration lists. Then, those selected complete a questionnaire, and if qualified, they are randomly chosen to be summoned for jury duty. The selection process ensures that jurors are representative of the entire community.

To serve on a jury, jurors are selected by a process known as “voir dire,” which means, “to speak the truth.” Potential jurors are asked a set of questions by the judge and attorneys from both sides. These questions determine whether or not jurors are competent and fit to serve on the jury.

For felony cases, a jury trial requires 12 jurors, and some misdemeanor cases require six jurors. However, all jurors must find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Your right to a Jury Trial

The right to a jury trial is a fundamental right for anyone accused of a crime. Moreover, it plays a crucial role in the criminal justice system.

Speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney at Koop Law Firm for more information on your right to a jury trial and any charges you may be facing.

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

What are your Miranda Rights?

What are your Miranda Rights?

As a constitutional right, officers are required to provide Miranda warnings to a detainee once he or she is in the custody of the police.

This requirement to give Miranda warnings comes from the Supreme Court decision, Miranda v. Arizona, 384 US 436 (1966). The Miranda warning serves to protect a suspect’s Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer self-incriminating questions.

The Miranda warning requires officers to inform you of your rights after your arrest and before questioning you. When you are being interrogated, an officer must explain to you that:

  1. You have the right to remain silent.
  2. If you do say anything, it can be used against you in a court of law.
  3. You have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning.
  4. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.

Miranda rights may be worded differently, however, they still should adequately convey the message. Additionally, the officer must ensure that the suspect knows his or her rights.

Regardless of where an interrogation occurs, if a person is in custody the police must read their Miranda rights if they want to ask the suspect questions and use answers at trial.

What if the police don’t read your rights to you?

Having your rights not read by the police does not mean you can escape punishment. However, the prosecutor will not be able to use anything the suspect says as evidence against them. This rule is subject to exceptions, for example, if public safety is at stake.

Miranda rights are complex, and no single article can explain all the specifics. If you are facing a criminal charge, you should contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney like Jeremy D. Koop, J.D., who will explain your rights completely to you.

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

DUI and Drug Charges Explained

A DUI occurs when a driver consumes drugs or alcohol prior to driving a vehicle and is unable to operate a vehicle safely or is over the legal blood alcohol limit of .08.  Whether or not an initial arrest is made is completely up to the discretion of the law enforcement officer who pulled the driver over.  There are often defenses to the officer’s interpretation of whether the driver is DUI.   

Drug offenses occur when someone is charged with the possession, distribution, or sale of any type of illegal drug.  Illegal drugs that could be the subject of charges include marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, opioids, prescription medications, cocaine, or heroin.  

DUI Convictions

If convicted of a DUI, you will receive a fine and be issued a jail sentence. In addition, you may have a suspended or revoked license, or experience higher vehicle insurance rates. Further, you may be required to participate in a mandatory rehabilitation program. Less severe penalties may include community service assignments, diversion, or probation.  Ultimately, there are several factors that can impact a possible conviction. For example, the individual’s driving record, background, age, and blood alcohol content are taken into consideration. In addition, the rules of the location (state, city) that the offense occurred in varies and has an impact on the outcome.

Drug Convictions

Drug offenses are often felonies, and the penalties for these charges can be severe.  An individual with a drug conviction could face prison or jail time.  Additionally, some types of drug offenses require registration as an offender.  However, experienced criminal defense lawyers analyze drug cases for mistakes and exaggerations made in these charges.

Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for Your DUI & Drug Violations

If you’re facing an arrest or charges, it’s imperative to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Most importantly, you want to obtain a lawyer who is dedicated to fighting for your rights and building a strong case in your defense. Criminal defense lawyers like Jeremy D. Koop are knowledgeable about mistakes and inaccuracies with obtained evidence.

If you or someone you know needs a committed criminal defense lawyer to represent them, please fill out our contact form or give our office a call to tell us how we can help.

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