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Overland Park Criminal Defense Blog

Search and seize defense options to try to avoid conviction

Let's say you borrow a jacket from a friend and are wearing it when a Kansas police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop. No big deal, right? Well, that depends. What if the police officer says he or she noticed your vehicle drifting from side-to-side in your lane and asks you to step outside your car for a few moments? Still no big deal, right?

The uneventful issue of using your friend's jacket might turn into something far more serious if the police officer who pulled you over searches your pockets and pulls out a baggie of contents that appear to be illegal drugs of some sort. Suddenly, driving to the store (or wherever you were traveling at the time) leads to facing serious charges in court, all because you were wearing your friend's coat.

Don't sell yourself short when it comes to federal drug charges

Make no mistake, there's a difference between facing state drug charges and federal drug charges. Federal courts have their own rules and laws. In addition, Congress created mandatory minimum sentences for a variety of drug crimes.

For example, if federal authorities accuse you of possessing 28 grams of crack cocaine with the intent to sell it, and if convicted, the mandatory sentencing guidelines require that you receive a sentence of no less than five years in a federal prison regardless of the circumstances. This normally happens even if your role in the crime does not warrant this harsh of a sentence.

Senate bill could reform the juvenile justice system in Kansas

The juvenile justice system is one that many people wish didn't need to exist. The problem with the system, according to one expert, is that too much money is funneled into punishing juveniles and not enough money is spent on trying to keep them out of the juvenile justice system to begin with. In Kansas, that could change if Senate Bill 367 is passed.

The bill would provide funding for solutions that are community based. That would mean that juveniles could have the help they need to stay out of trouble before they are incarcerated. This could help to stop juveniles from becoming adults who are involved in the criminal justice system.

Explore defense strategies for sex-related charges

In our last post, we discussed how the circumstances of the crime can impact what criminal charges you face for sex-related actions. While it is true that the charge you face can be anything from sexual assault to rape, it's equally true that any sex charge is a serious matter. All sex-related charges can impact your life in ways that don't have anything to do with your criminal case.

We know that you don't want the charge to dictate what you can do in your life. You likely want the charges go away, or at least not have to deal with very severe punishments if you are found guilty. We will work with you to determine what happened at the time of the alleged criminal sexual conduct. We need to start with your version of events.

Sex crimes in Kansas vary based on circumstances

All sex crimes in Kansas vary based on the circumstances that were present when the criminal act allegedly occurred. In Kansas, you can be charged with rape, criminal sodomy, sexual battery and other crimes in connection with an alleged criminal sexual act.

Rape occurs when a person has sexual intercourse with a person who doesn't consent to that intimate act. You can face rape charges in Kansas if the victim is overcome by fear or if you force the victim to have sex with you. Rape charges are also possible if the person isn't able to fight back, such as if they have no physical means with which to fight or if they are unconscious. You can even face a rape charge if you have sex with someone who is drunk, high or has a mental condition that makes them incapable of giving you consent. Other scenarios might also count as rape, so if you are facing rape charges, make sure your lawyer takes a good look at the evidence in the case to figure out what points should be disputed.

What is expungement and how is it handled in Kansas?

Your criminal record is something that can haunt you for the rest of your life.There are certain instances in which you can petition to have your record expunged. If you are interested in having a criminal record expunged, you will have to petition the court with jurisdiction over the case.

What does expungement do?

What determines criminal sentencing in Kansas?

People who are being charged with criminal actions in Kansas will be subjected to sentencing guidelines if they are found guilty of those criminal acts. Kansas utilizes sentencing grids to determine the sentence a person should receive if he or she is convicted of certain crimes, but not all crimes are included on the sentencing grids. Understanding basic points about these grids might help you understand sentencing if you are facing criminal charges.

Are all crimes covered on sentencing grids?

Drug charges require a defense because convictions have penalties

No matter what kind of drug charge you are facing, there is a chance that you will have to deal with penalties if you are convicted. While you might be worried about incarceration, probation and fines, those aren't the only penalties that you might face. You might face collateral consequences of the conviction.

The collateral consequences that you face can be just as serious as the court-imposed penalties. These collateral consequences can include losing your job, certain rights and housing. In some cases, a drug conviction can limit the assistance that you can get for other aspects of your life. Your ability to get a student loan, for example, might be affected by a drug-related conviction.

Marijuana is still illegal in Kansas

The use of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes is becoming more and more commonplace across the country. Kansas law has not been updated to reflect the changes that are occurring everywhere else. Marijuana is still illegal here, and you can face criminal charges if you are found with weed.

In Kansas law, as well as in federal law, marijuana is viewed as a controlled substance. It is ranked up there with methamphetamine and heroin. You can't legally possess, grow, cultivate or sell marijuana in this state -- not even for medicinal purposes.

New campaign targets Kansas drunk drivers through Labor Day

Kansas law enforcement officials are hoping to catch more drunk drivers in an effort to keep them off of the roadways. A federal grant has enabled agencies to conduct more patrols that target drunk driving. A campaign dubbed You Drink You Drive You Lose has started in an effort to deal with this public health and safety issue.

The ultimate goal of the campaign is to reduce the number of drunk driving deaths, which are preventable deaths. Some areas will have around-the-clock enforcement that is targeting drunk drivers. The enforcement will also be targeted at night when drunk driving occurs in greater numbers.

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Overland Park, KS 66212

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