Understanding Battery and Aggravated Battery Laws in Kansas

Battery and aggravated battery are serious charges in Kansas, and a conviction can have a lasting effect on your life.

An aggravated battery conviction could send a defendant to prison for over 14 years and possibly require them to register as a violent offender, impacting their ability to get a job and find housing. While the potential sentence for a battery conviction is less severe, a conviction can have similar consequences and negatively affect future court cases.

It’s important to immediately hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if you’ve been charged with either of these crimes. Skilled and aggressive legal representation could help you avoid prison, lessen the maximum sentence, or get the charges dropped.

What is battery?

Battery is knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person or knowingly causing physical contact with someone in a rude, insulting, or angry manner. In Kansas, the charge of simple battery is a class B misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of six months in county jail and a fine up to $1,000.

What is aggravated battery?

Generally speaking, a simple battery charge could be raised to aggravated battery if a deadly weapon is used or if serious injuries occur. However, Kansas law includes a lengthy list of other ways someone could be charged with aggravated battery.

In Kansas, a person could be charged with aggravated battery if they:

  • Knowingly or recklessly cause great bodily harm or disfigures someone
  • Knowingly or recklessly cause great bodily harm with a deadly weapon or in such a way that could cause serious injuries, disfigurement, or death
  • Knowingly cause offensive physical contact with a deadly weapon or in any manner that could cause great bodily harm, disfigurement, or death
  • Drive under the influence and cause great bodily harm, disfigurement, or death or cause bodily harm with the possibility that great bodily harm, disfigurement, or death could have occurred

Aggravated battery is a felony charge in Kansas with a possible sentence of seven months to 172 months in prison and a $100,000 to $300,000 maximum fine, depending on the circumstances of the case. However, a person who’s convicted of a lower level of aggravated battery could avoid prison altogether if they have a limited criminal history.

Battery vs. assault: What’s the difference?

Although the terms battery and assault are sometimes used interchangeably, they’re actually different crimes under Kansas law. Assault is putting someone in fear of immediate physical danger with a threat or an act. Battery charges typically involve actually injuring them or physically contacting them.

The possible prison sentence for a battery conviction is significantly higher than the maximum sentence for assault. The maximum sentence for simple battery is 6 months in county jail, compared to one month for simple assault. Someone convicted of aggravated battery could go to prison for 172 months, while someone convicted of aggravated assault faces up to 34 months in prison.

What are common defenses against battery charges?

A skilled criminal defense attorney can use numerous strategies to either get a battery charge dropped, lower the sentence, or help their client avoid prison time. Some common defenses against battery and aggravated battery include:

  • Self-defense. If you acted in self-defense, a defense attorney could build a compelling argument that your actions were justified to protect yourself or others.
  • Lack of intent. Your actions could have been either unintentional or not reckless, which means they don’t meet an important threshold for proving battery.
  • Lack of a deadly weapon. In aggravated battery cases involving a weapon, your attorney may successfully argue that the weapon couldn’t have likely caused death and therefore get the charge lowered to battery.
  • No offensive contact. A defense attorney could argue the physical contact wouldn’t be considered offensive, angry, or rude to a reasonable person.

If you’ve been charged with battery or aggravated battery in Wichita, Kansas, or the surrounding area, it’s important to immediately contact the Koop Law Firm. Former prosecutor Jeremy D. Koop is an experienced attorney who can preserve your rights and provide the aggressive defense you deserve.

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

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