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Kansas City Criminal Defense Law Blog

Is domestic violence always physical?

When most people think about domestic violence, they envision a couple who can't keep their conflicts within normal boundaries of fair disagreement and one party or the other resorts to physical violence. However, legal charges stemming from domestic violence may involve many more things than more physical violence between partners or family members.

Domestic violence does include many kinds of violent behavior against one or more parties, such as one partner pushing, grabbing, hitting or slapping another party, for instance. However, this is not where domestic violence ends. It may also involve sexual assault, or a threat of violence if one party does not participate in some sexual activity.

What is the difference between drug dealing and trafficking?

When most of the public refers broadly to "drug charges," they mean to refer to drug possession charges, specifically. However, there are several other common drug charges with very specific elements that you may face. Depending on the charges themselves, you may have different kinds of sentencing, or may need to employ entirely different defenses.

Two commonly confused drug charges are drug dealing and drug trafficking. In very broad terms, "dealing" refers to drug distribution on a small scale, while "trafficking" refers to drug distribution on a larger scale, but there are other important distinctions.

Elements of assault charges

Assault charges can turn very complicated very quickly, depending on many factors that an individual in a heated moment may not consider. If you or someone you love faces some form of assault charges, you should consult with an experienced defense attorney as soon as you can. Understand, the prosecution responsible for pursuing your charges is already building a case against you, so the sooner you begin building your defense, the better.

A number of factors may affect how charges increase or decrease in severity. If, for instance, you face charges after an altercation with a law enforcement officer, you may face stiffer penalties simply because the incident involved an officer of the law. Similarly, if the other party belongs to a certain protected class of individuals, he or she may claim that your altercation is in fact a hate crime.

What is a 'three strikes' law?

Felonies are much more serious charges than misdemeanors, and carry much heavier consequences for those convicted of them. However, here in Missouri, individuals who find themselves on the wrong side of the law repeatedly may face felony charges for alleged actions that typically only incur a misdemeanor charge. Missouri is one of a number of states that use some version of a "three-strikes" law that increases some misdemeanor charges to felonies if the defendant has received repeat convictions for the same crime.

Facing a felony is a far different matter than facing a misdemeanor charge. If you are facing a felony charge, you need to consider your next actions very carefully. Without proper legal counsel, you may find yourself convicted of a felony unjustly.

What should I say to police if I'm pulled over after drinking?

It's a tale as old as time (or at least as old as the automobile) — you have a few beers and get behind the wheel, assuming you're fine to drive. Then, on the way home, you see the blue lights flashing behind you. Don't panic, you have yet to receive charges. However, the way you interact with the officer who stops you may greatly impact your case, specifically when it comes to the things you say.

First, it is important to understand that you should never lie to a police officer. Lying to an officer of the law is a quick and simple way to end up with a charge of obstruction of justice. However, this does not mean that you must be forthcoming with information to the officer. Other than giving the officer your name, you are generally not required to give them any other verbal information. When in doubt, it is wise to remain silent or ask for your attorney.

Can I safely order marijuana products through the mail?

Despite the increasing number of states legalizing marijuana for recreational use, it is important to remember that the drug is still criminalized at the federal level. Unfortunately, this means that those who want to receive marijuana or marijuana products through the mail may face serious federal charges.

Ok, so sending marijuana through the mail is clearly a huge risk, one that is almost certainly not worth it. But what about sending or receiving marijuana through a private service such as FedEx? Well, technically speaking, this is a better idea than sending it through the United States Postal Service (USPS), as it doesn't present as many risks. Keep in mind that if recreational pot is still not legal in your state, you still may face state criminal charges.

What's the difference between robbery and theft?

Violent crimes generally entail harsher sentencing and more lengthy jail time, but in some cases, the line between a violent crime and a non-violent crime is thinner than you might expect. Robbery is a crime that many individuals do not understand well, and this poor understanding could cost them years of their lives behind bars if they end up facing charges of robbery when they could only have faced theft.

Theft, generally speaking, is the taking of another person's property. This might happen while the other person is far away, or it could occur in one's presence if the person taking the property simply grabs it and runs, or finds another way to take the property without threatening the owner. While theft is a criminal charge, it is not considered a violent crime and does not generally receive sentencing as harsh as robbery.

What are affirmative drunk driving defenses?

Drunk driving is certainly dangerous, but contrary to popular belief, it is not always the worst option. As surprising as this may sound, there are actually some instances in which a person facing drunk driving charges might successfully argue that he or she was justified in driving under the influence.

One such example might be if a person is intoxicated but also faces some greater threat. If, for instance, a woman is on a date and has several drinks at a man's home. After becoming intoxicated, the woman realizes that the man poses a threat to her safety, she may choose to drive while intoxicated to escape the clear and present threat the man presents.

Is robbery a felony charge in Missouri?

Here in Missouri, robbery is a very serious charge. In part because it is an inherently violent (or potentially violent) act, all robbery convictions are classified as felonies in Missouri. This means that in addition to the sentencing penalties for the charges, those convicted of robbery become felons, changing their lives indefinitely.

If you recently received robbery charges, it is very important to build the strongest defense that you can. Years of your life and many of your future freedoms depend on the strength of the defense you build.

Driving without insurance complicates drunk driving charges

If you drive without insurance, you face the possibility of serious consequences, especially if alcohol is involved. If you recently received charges of driving without insurance in conjunction with a drunk driving charge, then you must proceed very carefully. It is very wise to consult with an experienced attorney to closely examine the details of your arrest and prioritize which of your rights you want to protect.

Either charge carries its own set of complications and entails a specific legal strategy when building a defense. When multiple charges overlap, the experience of an attorney becomes exceptionally valuable. Without a calculated, careful defense, you may face some very serious consequences.

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