KANSAS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWS
Know your rights. And remember, you want an expert on your side when you’re fighting your charges.
KANSAS DV LAWS
Kansas law defines domestic violence as an act of violence or threat of violence against a family or household member or a person who is or was involved in a dating relationship with the offender. Domestic violence also includes any crime or municipal ordinance violation committed against a person or property when the act is directed at a family or household member or a person currently or formerly in a dating relationship with the offender.
“Family or household member” is defined as persons at least 18 years old and:
- a pregnant woman and alleged father, regardless of whether the two people have ever been married or lived together.
- parents of the same child, regardless of whether they have ever been married or lived together.
- parents or stepparents and children or stepchildren
- formerly or currently residing together, and
- current or former spouses.
A domestic violence offense includes any crime whereby the underlying facts satisfy the definition of domestic violence. For example, a suspect who commits the crime of assault has committed a domestic violence offense if the assault is committed against a family or household member or against a person with whom the suspect is or was in a dating relationship (Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21-5111).
An alleged victim of domestic violence can petition the court to issue a protective order against another regardless of guilt. The judge will hold a hearing where the plaintiff must prove the allegation of abuse by a preponderance of the evidence; the defendant is also allowed to present their own witnesses and evidence. Where the plaintiff satisfies his burden in the eyes of the judge, a protective order will be issued. Upon the granting of a protective order, the judge is authorized to:
- prohibit the defendant from abusing the plaintiff or plaintiff’s children
- exclude the defendant from the residence while simultaneously awarding exclusive usage rights to the plaintiff
- award temporary child support and/or visitation, and
- award possession of personal property to either the plaintiff or defendant.
That same statute further authorizes the judge to issue additional orders it deems necessary and proper to protect the plaintiff and children, if any. If granted, a protective order lasts for one year (Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 60-3106, 60-3107).
A person who intentionally violates a domestic violence protective order commits a Class A misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to one year in jail (Kan. Stat. Ann. §§ 21-4502, 21-5924).
THE BEST THING TO DO IS CONSULT A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY
EXPERT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ATTORNEY
If you are charged with a domestic violence offense, or if you are accused of domestic violence in a petition for a protective order, you should speak with a lawyer immediately. A conviction for a domestic violence offense may result in fines, jail time and the issuance of a domestic violence protective order, all of which can have a significant and lingering impact, i.e. child custody and visitation rights. Nika Cummings, a renowned expert in domestic-violence law, will thoroughly evaluate your case and the defenses available to you, providing guidance throughout the process ensuring that your rights are protected.
POLICE POLICIES & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INVESTIGATIONS
Kansas law requires all law enforcement agencies within the state to adopt policies for handling domestic violence complaints, and the law specifies several policies that must be included by every law enforcement agency within the state. Among the policies that must be adopted by every agency is a requirement that an officer arrest a person suspected of committing a domestic violence offense. Further, associated policies must contain a statement that nothing shall be interpreted so as to:
Require an arrest where the officer determines that insufficient evidence of a crime exists, nor require the arrest of both people when each individual claims to be the victim.
The statute enumerates additional procedures that must be included in each department’s policies – including procedures related to emergency-dispatch duties and for handling alleged domestic violence (Kan. Stat. Ann. §22-2307).