June 16, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

What are Defenses to Battery in Kansas?

In Kansas, battery can either be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances involved. Simple battery is a Class B misdemeanor (unless committed against a law enforcement officer), while aggravated battery can range from a level 3 to a level 8 person felony. Section 21-5413 of the Kansas Statutes identifies several acts that can be prosecuted as simple or aggravated battery; and, when facing a battery charge, it is important to work with an experienced Johnson County battery lawyer to make sure you know the specific allegations at issue.

4 Potential Defenses to Simple and Aggravated Battery Charges in Kansas

Due to the wide variety of acts that can be prosecuted as battery under Section 21-5413, there are several potential defenses to misdemeanor and felony battery charges in Kansas as well. Some of these defenses are fact-specific, and asserting the wrong defense could potentially do more harm than good:

1. You Did Not Use a Deadly Weapon

For example, one form of aggravated battery involves, “knowingly causing bodily harm to another person with a deadly weapon.” If you had a weapon in your possession but you did not use it in inflicting bodily harm, then you may be able to avoid a conviction for aggravated battery. However, use of a deadly weapon is not an element of any form of simple battery. So, if you are facing a simple battery charge, attempting to show that you did not use a weapon will not provide any protection in your case.

2. You Did Not Act Knowingly or Recklessly

Simple battery and aggravated battery both require some level of criminal intent. Depending on the specific allegations involved, this could either mean acting “knowingly” or “recklessly.” If you have been accused of a form of battery that requires “knowing” conduct, then demonstrating that you were simply reckless may provide a defense. On the other hand, if you argue that you were being reckless when this is all that is required to establish guilt, then asserting this “defense” could lead to a conviction at trial.

3. You Did Not Cause “Great Bodily Harm”

Certain forms of battery require proof of “great bodily harm,” while others require proof of “bodily harm” or “disfigurement.” Arguing that you did not cause great bodily harm could mitigate the consequences of your arrest in some cases, but it could lead to a conviction in others.

4. You Did Not Cause “Bodily Harm”

Similarly, some forms of battery do not require proof of bodily harm at all. For example, under Section 21-5413(1)(2), simple battery can be charged for, “knowingly causing physical contact with another person when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner.” So, while demonstrating lack of bodily harm can provide a defense in some cases, it is not necessarily a complete defense to a charge of battery in Kansas.

Discuss Your Case with Johnson County Battery Lawyer Jerry Merrill

This list is nowhere near comprehensive of all of the potential defenses to battery in a Kansas criminal case. If you have been charged with battery, it is important that you discuss the facts of your case with an experienced attorney, and we encourage you to call us at 913-381-2085 or contact us online promptly for a free case evaluation.

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Merrill Law Firm

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7211 West 98th Terrace, Building 4, Suite 140
Overland Park, Kansas 66212

T. 913-381-2085 | F. 913-341-1130

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