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Overland Park Criminal Defense Blog

Assault vs battery – know the difference

When most people think of assault and battery charges, they often think of a physical altercation. While these charges usually go hand-in-hand, it is actually possible to commit assault without committing battery. If you are facing these charges, it is important to know the difference between the two. In general, battery requires actual physical contact while assault only requires the threat of violence.

If the court has charged with assault and battery, it is important to remember that you have rights and options. An experienced criminal defense attorney in the Overland Park area can help you fight against these charges. Read further to find out more about the difference between assault and battery.

There is more than one type of domestic violence defense strategy

Like most people, you never want to argue with others. This applies especially to your spouse, children, and other loved ones.

Unfortunately, there may come a time when you find yourself in this situation. Making matters worse, it's possible that the other party, such as a spouse, could allege that you became physically violent.

An attorney can be a victim's greatest advocate

When you are in an abusive relationship, it can be an isolating and emotionally draining experience. The fear of continued punishment for everything you do can make you freeze and feel unable to extract yourself from the situation. But you must know that it is possible to remove yourself and your children from this toxic situation and you don't have to do it by yourself.

Changes to juvenile justice system may make prosecution easier

In 2016, Kansas created new legislation that helped low-level juvenile offenders avoid incarceration and divert their cases into the mental health and social services sector in an attempt to improve their life quality. It also helped alleviate the over-loaded juvenile criminal justice system by reducing case load. However, new amendments have been brought before the legislature that may return some cases to the court system.

Is underage drinking ever OK? Cereal malt exceptions in Kansas

Make no mistake: Kansas's liquor laws are some of the strictest in the country, and anyone who tells you otherwise has likely been misinformed. But your teenager may have heard that Kansas lets people under 21 drink in some situations.

Understanding where Kansas draws the line is important to keep your kid (and you) out of trouble. Here's what you need to know.

When a college athlete faces a battery charge

Kansas Jayhawks sophomore basketball forward Carlton Bragg Jr. is charged with one count of misdemeanor battery after allegedly hitting his girlfriend and pushing her down the stairs.

The University is keeping Bragg out of competition for now as the facts are investigated. Bragg pleaded not guilty to the charge in his first court appearance, and his next is scheduled for December 27.

Teens mean well, but shoplifting is still a crime

Teens can have hearts of gold and good intentions, but at the same time make bad, spur-of-the-moment decisions. There's a lot of pressure to give the perfect gifts at the holidays.

Teens are often strapped for cash and aren't able to afford what they'd really like to give someone special-including you, their parents. Unfortunately, a shoplifting or petty theft charge can ruin the holidays, and potentially affect a teen's future.

How domestic violence is defined by Kansas law

No one wants to face allegations for domestic abuse, but many do in the state of Kansas. According to a report by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation posted on Access Kansas's web site, there were nearly 23,000 incidences of domestic violence in 2014 with half of those leading to arrests. Victims are typically white females between the ages of 20-29 with the average offender being white males of the same age. Most incidents occur between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday.

First time offenders typically have no criminal record and maintain a good standing in the community. Domestic violence is not just a crime of the lower class, but of middle and upper class families as well. Typically, it can start out as a simple argument that turns heated and then spins out of control. In effort to protect all members of the family, Kansas has mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence calls. Due to cultural pressure, prosecutors are often expected to press charges.

Refusing testing no longer a crime in Kansas

Drivers in Kansas have long been under the rule of a strict law which made it a crime to refuse to submit to a DUI blood test. This was true even if the person who refused was not accused of any DUI offense. Initial refusal was classified as a misdemeanor, though repeated refusal could have resulted in a felony charge.

Marijuana charges in Kansas

Contrary to the message from westerly neighbors in Colorado, marijuana is illegal as ever in Kansas. Earlier this year the state legislature reduced punishment for first time possession charges, but Kansas remains one of the harshest states for marijuana penalties in the country. As popular culture and other states spread the message that possession of pot isn't a serious crime, it remains one here.

On July 1, a new law took effect that lowers the first possession penalty to a maximum six months in jail plus fines, previously at up to one year in jail. The state has a separate charge for "intent to distribute," however, and if you've been charged with possession you'll need legal help to wade through the red tape and avoid maximum penalties in a state that's taken a conservative approach to drug law reform. The Garden City Police Department reports an increase in marijuana arrests since Colorado legalized the drug, emphasizing the state's position to enforce existing codes instead of looking the other way.