Kansas domestic violence has been the subject of plenty of legal news in the past week.

First, the Kansas Legislature significantly amended the domestic battery statute (K.S.A. 21-5414). Senate Bill 112, which was published in the Kansas Register May 18, 2017, institutes amendments to the statute that become effective July 1, 2017. The amended statute will expand protection under the statute to “a person with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship.” The definition for a “dating relationship” is: a “social relationship of a romantic nature.” In addition to any other factors the court deems relevant, “the trier of fact may consider the following when making a determination of whether a relationship exists or existed: Nature of the relationship, length of time the relationship existed, frequency of interaction between the parties, and time since the termination of the relationship, if applicable.” SB 112 also added the crime of “Aggravated Domestic Battery” to include “knowingly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure on the throat, neck or chest [or blocking the nose] of a person with whom the offender is involved or has been involved in a dating relationship or a family or household member, when done in a rude, insulting or angry manner …”

Then, on May 23, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in United States v. Pauler, a case examining whether a man convicted of violating a Wichita, Kansas, domestic battery ordinance was prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9). The court held that municipal convictions for misdemeanor domestic violence are not covered by 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(9), which makes it unlawful for an individual to possess a firearm after being convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime “under Federal, State, or Tribal law.”

Joseph, Hollander & Craft’s criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience defending individuals facing charges for domestic battery as well as those facing charges for unlawful possession of a firearm. And we are always watching the latest movements in these areas of the law. If you or your loved one is facing a criminal charge or investigation, contact the experienced defense attorneys at Joseph, Hollander & Craft. With attorneys in Wichita (316-262-939), Topeka (785-234-3272), Lawrence (785-856-0143), and Overland Park (913-948-9490), we serve clients from the Oklahoma border to the Kansas City area.

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