What is assault or battery?
Assault is the intent to cause harmful and/or offensive physical injury to another person. Battery generally is the result of that intent to cause physical injury. The physical injury may also have been caused by recklessness or criminal negligence using a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument. The words “assault” and “battery” are often used interchangeably, and while there are technical differences, the word “assault” will be used interchangeably with battery for the purposes of this article.
There are many different types of assault. Examples include: aggravated assault, vehicular assault, domestic assault and assault based upon improper care given by health care providers, retirement homes, schools and the like.
Assault is classified by severity, in Kansas the criminal statutes provide for simple assault and aggravated assault. In Missouri the criminal statutes order assaults by degree (e.g. first degree assault, second degree assault, etc.).
Assaults can be felonies or misdemeanors. The penalties for assault vary and are dependent upon several factors:
· The severity and nature of the assault
· The presence of mitigating circumstances
· Prior convictions
· Age of the victim
· If the victim was providing lawful medical or therapeutic treatment
· If the victim was a police officer
Penalties may include:
· Jail time
· Severe fines
· Anger management classes
· Loss of right to possess firearms
· Loss of voting rights
In addition, being convicted of an assault can leave you open to private lawsuits from the victim.
Misdemeanor Battery in Kansas
Kansas law has more than one statute that makes battery an unlawful act, with the most common being misdemeanor battery which is punishable by a maximum six months jail sentence to be served in the county. This type of battery is mostly charged for inter-family disputes where the government has an interest in preserving and protecting the family relationship. This behavior is commonly referred to as domestic violence. The tricky thing about this crime is that, on its face, it doesn't give any warning that the behavior can be felonized if their are repeated offenses. It is of utmost importance that the person charged with a violation of this statute request legal advice from their attorney about the availability of future punishment opportunities by the government. The statute that makes this misdemeanor battery violation unlawful is set forth below:
21-3412. Battery. (a) Battery is:
(1) Intentionally or recklessly causing bodily harm to another person; or
(2) intentionally causing physical contact with another person when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner.
(b) Battery is a class B person misdemeanor.
Another type of misdemeanor battery is called sexual battery which is a class A misdemeanor punishable by 12 months in the county jail. The specific statute which makes this misdemeanor battery unlawful is set forth below:
21-3517. Sexual battery. (a) Sexual battery is the intentional touching of the person of another who is 16 or more years of age, who is not the spouse of the offender and who does not consent thereto, with the intent to arouse or satisfy the sexual desires of the offender or another.
(b) Sexual battery is a class A person misdemeanor.
(c) This section shall be part of and supplemental to the Kansas criminal code.
Felony Battery in Kansas
Kansas has more than one law that makes battery a felony. Aggravated battery is a convoluted law that provides several different scenarios with various punishment levels. If the glass is half full, than the statute is written to be "flexible". The most severe act covered by the statute is one where the behavior is intentional and meant to cause great bodily harm or disfigurement. This is a severity level 4 person felony punishable by a maximum prison term of 172 months which is the equivalent of 14.3 years. The statute provides that reckless conduct that results in an aggravated battery is a severity level 5 person felony punishable by a maximum prison term of 136 months or 11.3 years. Alternatives are written into the statute that specify several other levels of punishment that a person should request their attorney explain to them. The specific statute that makes aggravated battery an unlawful activity is set forth below:
21-3414. Aggravated battery. (a) Aggravated battery is:
(1) (A) Intentionally causing great bodily harm to another person or disfigurement of another person; or
(B) intentionally causing bodily harm to another person with a deadly weapon, or in any manner whereby great bodily harm, disfigurement or death can be inflicted; or
(C) intentionally causing physical contact with another person when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner with a deadly weapon, or in any manner whereby great bodily harm, disfigurement or death can be inflicted; or
(2) (A) recklessly causing great bodily harm to another person or disfigurement of another person; or
(B) recklessly causing bodily harm to another person with a deadly weapon, or in any manner whereby great bodily harm, disfigurement or death can be inflicted.
(b) Aggravated battery as described in subsection (a)(1)(A) is a severity level 4, person felony. Aggravated battery as described in subsections (a)(1)(B) and (a)(1)(C) is a severity level 7, person felony. Aggravated battery as described in subsection (a)(2)(A) is a severity level 5, person felony. Aggravated battery as described in subsection (a)(2)(B) is a severity level 8, person felony. A person convicted of aggravated battery shall be subject to the provisions of subsection (h) of K.S.A. 21-4704 and amendments thereto.