Criminal Offenses

Under Kansas criminal law, a criminal offense is categorized as either a misdemeanor or felony. But that is only the beginning. While sub-classifications of misdemeanor charges are fairly simple, determining the possible penalties you could face if convicted of a felony charge gets extremely complicated.

Criminal Charge in Kansas City? Call Attorney, Mark Hagen at (913) 871-1007.
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And just knowing the range of possible sentences doesn’t help you determine what is the most likely outcome in your case. That analysis takes a defense attorney with experience defending these cases, and some knowledge of the system, the courts, and the judges tendencies.

That’s why I offer a free consultation to anyone accused of a criminal charge in Kansas. I can walk you through the facts of your case, and explain what you are up against. And most importantly, how I can help.

Once I know a little about your case and the charges you are facing I can give you a good idea of the kind of penalty you may face if convicted. Then, with your blessing, we can work together to ensure you get the best possible results on your day in court.

Kansas Misdemeanor Offenses

Understanding how Kansas classifies misdemeanors is relatively simple. There are 3 classes of misdemeanors, A, B, and C. A Class A misdemeanor is the most serious. This chart shows exactly the penalty you may face if convicted of a misdemeanor as well as some more common examples of each type.

Misdemeanor Type Potential Sentence Common Misdemeanor Charges
Class A Up to 1 year in jail DUI 2nd offense, Possession of marijuana, Theft/Shoplifting
Class B Up to 6 months in jail DUI, Criminal Property Damage <$1,000, Driving on Suspension
Class C Up to 1 month in jail Hit and Run with Property Damage

*All misdemeanor offenses are also subject to fines

Ref: Kansas Statutes 21-4502

Kansas Felony Offenses

The way Kansas law classifies felonies can be much more confusing.

Also, it is important to know that drug offenses are classified in a completely different manner than other felonies. If you are seeking information about a drug case, refer to this page on felony drug charges.

There are two major things taken into consideration when determining the sentence you will face for a felony charge, the severity level of the offense and your criminal history.

Severity Level

The first thing you will notice is felonies are broken down by how serious they are into “severity levels”. There are 10 severity levels with Level I being the most serious. The more serious the offense that you are charged with, the higher your potential sentence will be.

Criminal History

If you have prior convictions on your record when you are convicted of a new felony, those convictions will be taken into consideration. The more extensive your criminal history was, the more serious your sentence could be.

Your criminal history is analyzed by whether your past convictions are misdemeanors or felonies and also whether they are considered “person” (committed against people) or “non person” (committed against property) felonies. This simply means the sentence could be elevated if your criminal history shows you have victimized others.

Once the judge knows the offense you are facing charges for and your criminal history, he will be given a range to sentence you within. People are typically sentenced in the middle of the range, which is called the presumptive sentence.

This chart shows each classification, the criminal history guidelines and the presumptive sentence for those. Remember, the judge is given a range to sentence within and you may be sentenced slightly more or less than this number depending on the specifics of your case.

Severity Level

1 prior person felony

1 prior nonperson felony

2+ prior misdemeanors

1 prior misd. or no record

I

253 months

195 months

176 months

155 months

II

190

146

131

117

III

94

72

66

59

IV

66

50

45

41

V

52

41

36

32

VI

34

24

20

18

VII

24

16

13

12

VII

16

10

10

8

IX

12

8

7

6

X

9

6

6

6

Depending on the offense you are charged and subsequently convicted of, you may face “presumptive probation”. This involves less serious offenses and means that it is presumed you will serve probation rather than a prison sentence. This applies typically to offenses that are severity level 7-10 or even severity level 6 if you have no prior convictions on your record.

On the other end of the spectrum, some offenses carry “presumptive imprisonment”. These are more serious crimes that you will be presumed to serve a prison sentence for. These offenses include severity levels 1-4 and severity level 5 if you have a criminal history.

This summary is just to give you an introduction to how crimes are broken down by Kansas law. If you are facing criminal charges, a complete consultation is the only way you will know exactly what kind of penalty you are looking at. Call me today so we can discuss your case.

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