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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.

What is domestic violence?

Depending on the seriousness of incidence, domestic violence in Kansas can either be a Class B misdemeanor (having contact with another in a rude way) or a felony, which often results from serious bodily harm or death, acts of an inappropriate sexual nature, and acts involving deadly weapons. It applies to those whom a person is in a dating relationship with, but also pertains to other members of the family or household. It can include any crime committed against a person or property.

Fortunately, a cornerstone of the American legal system is that people are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. A strong defense may avoid jail time, a criminal record and financial penalties. It may also help such familial rights as child custody or visitation.

The circumstances of each case are different, but three common defenses are as follows:

False allegations

In the heat of the moment, many things can be said, even when the police are involved. It's also not uncommon for false allegations to be made in court. The police and court should take each point of view seriously and maintain an open mind to the facts.

Lack of proof

In court, a defendant's case often hinges on the burden of proof. If there is not sufficient evidence of proof, it's nearly impossible to prosecute. It may be a "he said, she said" situation, but without sufficient proof there is no conviction.

Self-defense

It is common in a domestic violence case for the defendant to claim self-defense or acting to protect children. A claim of self-defense means that the party did not initiate aggressive behavior.

If you, a family member or friend are charged in a domestic violence case in Kansas, it's smart to immediately reach out to an attorney experienced in this area. He or she can often provide strong legal guidance during this difficult time, ensuring that your personal rights are protected.

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