Kansas City domestic violence attorneys

Kansas City Domestic Battery and Domestic Assault Attorneys

Kansas and Missouri have a mandatory arrest policy for domestic violence cases. If police are called to a domestic disturbance, somebody is likely going to jail. That doesn't necessarily mean that a crime has been committed. If you have been accused or charged with domestic violence, it is important that you seek aggressive legal representation. Prosecutors aggressively pursue domestic assault and domestic battery accusations. The domestic violence lawyers at SRC Law Group, LLC have the experience needed to get your charges reduced or dropped.
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What is Domestic Battery?

  1. Knowingly or recklessly causing bodily harm by a family or household member against a family or household member; or
  2. 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.

As you can see the definition for a Domestic Battery charge is extremely vague. You can be accused of domestic Battery for something as simple as throwing a piece of paper if it's done in a rude, insulting or angry manner. Domestic Battery conviction comes with heavy penalties and prosecutors are very aggressive when pursuing charges.

Wrongfully Accused of Domestic Violence?

False accusations of domestic violence can significantly affect every aspect of a person’s life. Even proof of innocence can fail to fix an individual’s life and reputation once he or she has been accused of such crimes.

At SRC Law Group, LLC, we have assisted clients facing false allegations of domestic violence for decades. Our Kansas City criminal defense attorneys understand what it takes to help those who were charged with domestic violence crimes despite being not guilty of them. Often, they are victims themselves.

Request a consultation with a domestic violence defense lawyer.

Schedule a case evaluation with an experienced lawyer. He or she will be able to thoroughly review your case and determine all of your available legal options in order to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

Inform family members of the situation.

Upon hearing the news of domestic violence allegations, it is common for family members of the alleged to turn against their loved ones accused of the crime. However, if you can tell them about your accuser’s erratic and troublesome behaviors – as well as your fears of what they can do – you have a chance to prepare your family for the worst and have them be more inclined to believe your side of the story.

Protect your valuables and personal belongings.

We understand that those who have false domestic violence accusations brought against them rarely expect their accuser to do something like that, such as pressing charges against you. But ultimately, they do it anyway. If your accuser steals your car or money and then files charges against you, you may dedicate most of your time to trying to get your belongings back, as opposed to doing what it takes to get positive results in your case.

Change your login information on all online accounts.

Bank accounts, social media accounts, computers, and cellphones which require passwords need to be changed immediately. Avoid having your accuser “pretend” to be you by logging on to your devices and sending threatening messages that can damage your case.

If you are being abused, collect evidence.

There are some cases where the person being accused of committing domestic violence is actually the victim. If this is the case, gather as much evidence as possible without putting yourself in imminent danger. Do not be afraid to contact the authorities or your local abuse services for immediate assistance.

Schedule a case evaluation with an experienced lawyer. He or she will be able to thoroughly review your case and determine all of your available legal options in order to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

Mandatory Arrests for Kansas Domestic Battery

According to Kansas law, when a household dispute leads to a call to the police, law enforcement is required to arrest any party that has been accused of instigating the incident. Additionally, whether or not the other party wants to press charges, the police can still make an arrest.

Under the Domestic Violence Model Law Enforcement Response Policy, police are expected to respond to a domestic battery call by providing protection and support to all adults and children victims of domestic battery. Officers must investigate the alleged charges and arrest the individual who most likely committed domestic battery.

For instance, let’s say a married couple is fighting with each other and the wife punches her husband. The husband screams in response, which is heard by a neighbor. When law enforcement arrives, they determine that the wife actually struck her husband and arrest her, despite the fact that the husband suffered no significant injury and did not seek to press charges against his wife. Even the most minor disputes can result in a complex legal matter because of the mandatory arrest law.

As you can imagine, this law leaves plenty of room for unfair arrests. A first-time domestic battery conviction is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of six months, a fine of up to $500, and additional penalties.

 Schedule a case evaluation with an experienced lawyer. He or she will be able to thoroughly review your case and determine all of your available legal options in order to obtain the most favorable outcome possible.

Is Domestic Battery a Felony Offense?

In Kansas, domestic battery is defined as causing harm to a family or household member or touching such a person in a way that's considered rude, insulting, or angry.

A family or household member includes a person 18 years of age or older who is the alleged offender's:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • Parent
  • Stepparent
  • Child
  • Stepchild
  • Current or former roommate
  • Child's other parent (regardless of marital status or living arrangement)

Causing harm to a family or household member is a serious offense, a conviction for which can result in incarceration, fines, and/or an order to complete an intervention program. The severity of punishments a court can impose is determined by the level at which the offense is charged. Domestic battery is either a misdemeanor or a felony, which depends on the alleged offender's criminal history.

When Domestic Battery Is a Misdemeanor.

In Kansas, two instances exist when domestic battery is charged as a misdemeanor.

The first is when the alleged offender is accused of committing the crime for the first time. In this case, it is a class B person misdemeanor.

Upon a conviction, the defendant may be subject to the following penalties:

  • Between 48 hours and 6 months in jail,
  • Between $200 and $500 in fines, and/or
  • Completion of a batterer intervention program

The second circumstance that triggers a misdemeanor domestic battery charge is when the alleged offender has been convicted of the crime once in the preceding 5 years. The offense is charged as a class A person misdemeanor.

A second domestic battery conviction can be penalized as follows:

  • Between 90 days and 1 year in jail,
  • Between $500 and $1,000 in fines, and/or
  • Completion of a batterer intervention program

Additionally, the defendant must serve at least 5 consecutive days of incarceration before they are eligible for probation, early release, or parole. As a condition, they will be required to complete a domestic violence assessment and a batterer intervention program.

When Domestic Battery Is a Felony.

Under K.S.A § 21-5414, there is one instance in which domestic battery is a felony. The higher-level charge is levied when a person commits a third or subsequent offense within 5 years of the previous.

Repeat domestic battery offenders can face the following punishments:

  • Between 90 days and 1 year of imprisonment,
  • Between $1,000 and $7,500 in fines, and/or
  • Completion of a batterer intervention program

To be eligible for probation, early release/reduction in sentence, or parole, the defendant must serve at least 90 days of imprisonment.

They must also complete a domestic violence assessment and batterer intervention program. If they do not participate in the evaluation or meet all program requirements, they will be required to serve between 180 days and 1 year of imprisonment.

Repeat Domestic Battery Charges

With countless high-profile cases in the news spotlight over the last few years, domestic violence cases are now being handled more seriously than ever. If you've been arrested and charged with domestic violence, you can expect to run into some serious problems in the near future, as the odds are stacked against you.

Domestic violence charges, even if you're never found guilty, come with stiff penalties in Kansas. That being said, the penalties associated with repeat domestic violence offenses are often enough to completely change someone's future.

If you've been arrested and charged with domestic violence for a second time, there are crucial steps you should take to protect your future from changing completely. The consequences associated with repeat domestic violence offenses can completely reshape your life in countless ways.

A Career Change

As the world continues to develop new technologies, employers have more information about their potential candidates than ever before. Background checks include more information now than ever before.

Meaning that if you've been charged with a repeat domestic violence offense, your job security and opportunities for new employment could be in danger. Domestic violence charges on your background check will likely raise red-flags for your potential employer, and having a repeat offense could be the nail in the coffin for them to not hire you.

Additionally, many professional licenses require that you have no felony convictions in order to obtain them. Repeat offenses can seriously affect your ability to make a steady income, which often leads to a downward spiral in many repeat offender's lives.

Changing Family & Friend Dynamics

Domestic violence cases, whether they're the first offense, repeat offense, or a situation involving false allegations, often completely reshape relationships with family and friends.

Family

In almost all domestic violence cases, the judge issues a protective order that prevents the alleged abuser from coming into contact with the victim. While there are things that can be done to prevent this from happening, if the judge believes that you are a danger to the victim or other members of your household, they will keep the orders in place.

This remains true even if the victim decides to retract their previous statements and gives the judge approval for you to come in contact with them. Due to the judge making their decision based on the safety of the victim, maintaining a healthy relationship with your family can be challenging while dealing with domestic violence charges, even if they want to see you.

On the other end of the spectrum, if your family does not want to see you, domestic violence charges can greatly impact your ability to visit your spouse and children. A protective order can cause a judge to completely remove your visitation rights if they believe you're a threat to them, even if your domestic violence charge has nothing to do with your children.

Friends

In addition to having a lasting impact on your family, being charged with a repeat domestic violence offense can change how your friends view you. When it comes to first domestic violence offenses, it can be fairly simple to convince your friends that you've changed or that you were falsely accused.

However, being charged with a repeat offense is a whole different ball game. Being charged with domestic violence for the second time is often enough to tarnish your reputation among your friends forever.

Protective Orders

Currently, all domestic battery charges are prosecuted in District Court. As a former prosecutor who has conducted numerous domestic violence trials, Attorney Stein knows how these cases are handled by prosecutors. The state of Kansas takes family violence very seriously.

An accusation of domestic violence can make you subject to court orders such as:

  • PROTECTION FROM STALKING ORDER (PFSO)
  • PROTECTION FROM ABUSE ORDER (PFAO)
  • NO CONTACT ORDER (NCO)

You could be barred from visiting or living with your own family members. You could also be barred from owning guns. To understand the potential consequences of a domestic violence charge, consult an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. You should never attempt to contact the alleged victim yourself or you could face additional charges.

Restraining Orders

At SRC Law Group, LLC, we’ve seen it happen far too often. One family member or loved one falsely accuses another of domestic violence or some form of abuse in order to gain an advantage in a family law matter or other circumstance. Unfortunately, even if these accusations are entirely blown out of proportion or unfounded, they have serious consequences that often include strict restraining orders.

If you’re faced with this situation, immediately reach out for legal help. With a skilled criminal defense team on your side, you can rest easy, knowing that your rights will be upheld throughout the process. Attorney Phil Stein served as a prosecutor for a number of years, giving him unique insight into how the prosecution will likely handle your case.

Types of Restraining Orders in Kansas

A restraining order is a type of court order which requires a person to either do, or not do specific acts. Restraining orders are often issued in cases involving domestic violence, harassment, stalking, and sexual assault. Different types of protective orders can be issued based on the specific circumstances of an individual’s situation.

The main types of restraining orders are the following:

Emergency Protective Orders (EPO)

This is an emergency order issued by law enforcement when an individual cannot petition a court right away, either because the court is not in session or the harm is imminent. EPOs go into effect immediately, typically expiring in less than a week.

Temporary Restraining Order (TRO)

TROs are often granted when someone is threatened with immediate physical harm. This type of order is issued before the parties have had the opportunity for a formal hearing on the facts of the case. A TRO will stay in effect only until a hearing has been held and a judge has made a ruling.

Domestic Violence Restraining Order (DVRO)

This type of order is issued in response to violence between spouses, relatives, or persons in a romantic relationship. A DVRO remains in effect for a longer period of time compared to either an EPO or TRO, often several years, and can be renewed.

Consequences of Restraining Orders

Even accidentally violating a restraining order can make matters much worse. It’s important to begin fighting a restraining order as soon as it is handed down.

A restraining order can limit rights such as the following, and more:

  • Living in your home
  • Contacting your family members
  • Possessing a firearm
  • Seeing your children

Our team can work to have these orders removed or relaxed so that you can begin the journey back to normalcy. Don’t attempt to circumvent whatever restraining orders are handed to you, get legal help before acting so that you can be sure you don’t end up getting in even more trouble.

How To Challenge Restraining Orders

Restraining orders, also known as protective orders, are commonly issued to help victims of domestic violence, harassment, or crime stay protected against future harm. However, being on the wrong end of a restraining order can be frustrating and damaging to your personal and professional life, especially if you are wrongly accused.

Fortunately, there are legal methods to challenge your protective order. If you feel like you’ve been unfairly served a restraining order, or the conditions are unfair, you have the right to defend yourself against the petitioner’s allegations.

The following are several steps you should take if you’re fighting a restraining order:

Hire a lawyer

Your best chances for challenging a protective order lie with an attorney. If you’re involved in a criminal investigation, then a criminal defense lawyer is your best resource. If you are dealing with a divorce, you will want to seek a family law attorney.

Obey the temporary restraining order

You need to abide by the protective order while you are awaiting your hearing. Your lawyer can provide detailed instructions for actions you need to avoid, such as making contact with the other person. Failing to abide by the terms of a TRO can result in (further) criminal penalties.

Gather evidence

Collect evidence that will aid you in your defense hearing. Gather any physical evidence you can, such as photographs, videos, clothing, phone records, e-mails, letters, and anything else related to the specific charges against you in the protective order.

Attend the hearing

Arrive at the courthouse well in advance of the appointed time. Do not allow your emotions to get the best of you. Stay calm, courteous, and respectful. While there is no guarantee that the judge will decide in your favor, following these steps can make a favorable result a more likely outcome.


Penalties for Violating a Kansas Protective Order

When an individual is suffering from abuse and wants legal protection to stop and prevent domestic violence, they can request a protective order from the court. Under Kansas law, abuse for an order of protection is given if there is evidence of bodily injury or threat of such harm from a significant other, parent of a child you share, or a relative.

An emergency protective order can be filed immediately. A final protection order can last for up to one year, but it can also be extended for another year. Should the offender violate any of the terms of the order of protection, they could face harsh penalties.

Additionally, a violation of a Kansas protective order is a crime. It is generally a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $2,500. However, violation of an extended protective order for previous offenses or convictions can lead to a Level 6 person felony, resulting in a prison sentence between 17 and 46 months.

Violating a protective order can also lead to an assault or battery conviction, which could be a misdemeanor or felony based on the circumstances surrounding the case. Violating an exclusion order from a home is criminal trespass, which is a Class B misdemeanor.

If you have been accused of violating a protective order that has been filed against you, the penalties you face are extremely serious. Not only will you spend a significant time in jail or prison and pay expensive fines, having a criminal record can ruin your personal and professional reputation.

At SRC Law Group, LLC, we are committed to helping you get the charges against you dismissed or reduced. With nearly three decades of collective experience, our Kansas City domestic violence attorneys can guide you through the complex legal process in Kansas, as well as protect your rights and future.

Defending Your Rights After an Arrest

If there is a defense in your domestic battery case, we can find it. For example, if the domestic battery was a case of mutual combat, we could argue that you were acting in self-defense. Photographs of you taken after the incident could be used as evidence. It is not unusual for domestic battery charges to be dismissed. Keeping a domestic battery conviction off your record is important to your career and your future, as few employers want to hire someone with a conviction for spousal assault.

Your defense is too important to be left to an inexperienced lawyer. Call SRC Law Group, LLC at (913) 948-9311 for a free consultation if you are subject to a restraining order or have been charged with domestic violence in the Kansas City area.

Domestic Violence Tips

Carefully consider the following tips to protect your rights and your case:

Call an attorney immediately. At SRC Law Group, LLC, we know the importance of entering a case quickly to gather the information and evidence while it is still fresh.

Take pictures.

Bruises fade, scratches heal, homes are cleaned and organized. Take pictures of the evidence before it is gone, removed, or hidden. Make sure your pictures can be enlarged for evidentiary purposes.

Do not make incriminating statements.

Statements to law enforcement or family or friends could end up in court as witnesses. Remember that text messages, emails, and voicemail can be saved. Be smart - do not discuss issues with anyone other than your attorney.

Text messages are quickly deleted by the phone company.

Take pictures of the text messages sent between the parties. Do not assume that an attorney will be able to subpoena those messages as phone companies regularly "dump" the messages after two weeks.

Do not violate a "no contact" order.

Violating a no contact order can impact the options available on your case. Talk to your attorney about petitioning the court to modify the order, but do not violate a direct court order.
Keep these helpful hints in mind when considering how to move forward on case. Protect yourself. Protect your case. Protect your rights. Discuss the specific facts of your case with a knowledgeable, experienced Kansas City domestic violence attorney.

Social Media and Your Domestic Violence Charges

There's no denying the fact that social media has become an integral part of our culture. While it provides many helpful benefits for users, it also has some well-known downsides. Social media platforms tend to be an easy soapbox for the creation of vicious rumors that spread like wildfire.

Those who have been charged with a sex crime know all too well that social media can be a real struggle. When unevidenced-backed statements are proclaimed by others, your first reaction may be to defend yourself. However, you have to be careful to consider how specific statements will impact both your professional and personal lives. An experienced Kansas City attorney can help you determine what to do and what not to do regarding your social media accounts.

Non-Filtered Statements

One of the biggest problems with social media networks today is that they don't offer any form of filtered messages. In the past, mass messages to the public were filtered through sources like media professionals. Now, anyone who signs up for an account can be a publisher to unlimited subscribers. This can allow for false statements to be easily transmitted to the masses.

Consider Reputation Management

If you're falsely accused of a sex crime, you want to do everything possible to limit false claims about the situation. Reputation management firms are paid to help reduce the impact the bad social media statements have on your reputation. Depending on the reach of your social media profiles to family members, friends, and professional associates, this may or may not be the right choice for you.

Consider Your Long-Term Credibility

It's human nature to want to deny charges that put you in a negative light. However, you should sustain yourself from doing so on instinct. Instead, speak with your Kansas City attorney to discover how statements denying charges against you today can affect your credibility in the future. You'll take a large hit to your credibility if you deny charges today and turn around and admit to the illegal actions in the future.

Never Get Into A Battle With Your Accuser Or Others

In most cases, it's best to remain silent on social media platforms and simply wait for your day in court. Calling family members and friends to explain your side of the story can have a better long-term impact on your relationships than spewing hateful battles over social media. If you have a large following on your social media platforms, your lawyer may instruct you to respond. This usually involves denying the allegations in a calm manner, reminding readers that every story has two sides and that our country's core belief is that a person is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law.

If you or someone you love has been accused of domestic violence, you should seek the assistance of SRC Law Group. They can help you to determine how to best handle your case, including on social media.

A Guide To Putting Domestic Violence Behind You

Even if you’re innocent, domestic violence charges can impact your life in ways that very few other crimes can. Simply being charged with domestic violence can drastically impact your life in many ways. Some of the most common things to change following a domestic violence arrest include:

  • A tarnished family life
  • A lack of trust among family and friends
  • A broken reputation
  • A feeling of hopelessness
  • A large financial burden

However, while there are many lasting effects associated with domestic violence charges, there are steps you can take to truly put your past behind you.

Realize You Aren’t the Victim

When it comes to domestic violence charges, there are typically two different situations.

You’re Guilty

You harmed someone you care about, and now, you’re left wondering how that happened. Maybe it was something from your past that sparked strong emotions. Regardless, you committed a crime, the charges were fair, and your sentence was morally correct. However, you realize you made a mistake, and you’re not looking to pick up the broken pieces.

You’re Innocent

You got into an argument with your significant other, and it got pretty heated. No violence was involved, but the argument didn’t end well. Your significant other knows that filing domestic violence charges against you will add many problems to your life, and could help resolve problems such as child custody or splitting assets in a divorce.

Although you’ve been falsely accused, you’re arrested and charged with domestic violence. From there, you’re treated like a criminal by authorities and many things about your life change. You aren’t able to visit your children while the investigation is underway. You’ve been temporarily let go of your position at work, and your friends and family are now pinned against you. Your life is spiraling out of control, all due to a false allegation.

Regardless of which situation you might be in, it’s important to remember that you are not the victim. To truly move forward from your past, you must accept that life isn’t always fair. However, while it isn’t fair, there are options available to you to help defend your future.

As you take a look back at your past, you realize that there are things you could have done differently. At SRC Law Group, LLC, we want to reassure you that a mistake does not have to define your character.

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, there are things you can do to protect your future. Our team is ready to discuss how we can help over then phone when you’re ready.

LEARN ABOUT YOUR LEGAL OPTIONS
Take the next step and request your free consultation with a Kansas City domestic violence defense attorney.