Being charged with a felony crime in Kansas City is a very serious matter and should not be taken lightly; your future depends on it. A felony is any crime that is punishable by jail time of one year or more and can include violent crimes, drug crimes, and DUI/DWIs, among several other criminal offenses. If you’ve been accused of committing a felony, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss your case as soon as possible.
Felony Penalties in Kansas City and the Criminal Sentencing Grid
Kansas uses a grid system, or the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines, to determine sentencing for criminal felony convictions. The grid system takes into account the severity of the crime as well as the defendant’s prior criminal history in order to determine an appropriate sentencing range. The sentence is then ultimately determined by the judge.
Severity of the Crime: Felonies are categorized according to severity on a scale from one to ten, one being the most severe felony and ten being the least severe.
Prior Criminal History: “Person Felonies” are considered more severe than “Non-Person Felonies” and, as such, will carry harsher penalties in the sentencing guidelines.
It is important to know that some crimes are not included on the grid and that drug crime penalties are listed on a separate grid. Drug crimes are rated on a scale from one to four, one being the most severe and four the least severe.
Can a Judge Depart from the Sentencing Guidelines?
Although the sentence provided in the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines is presumed appropriate in most cases, a judge can, in certain cases, depart from the presumptive sentence in the interest of justice. The departure can be either upward or downward. Your attorney can help determine if there are facts in your case that may lead to an upward or downward departure from the presumed sentence. For example, if there is a substantial and compelling reason justifying a downward departure from the sentence prescribed by the grid, your attorney can present that evidence to the court and help you fight for a reduced sentence.
Contacting a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Protect Your Rights
A felony charge is very serious and one that can negatively impact your personal and professional life. Being convicted of a serious crime can cost thousands of dollars, mean time spent in jail, and lead to damage to your reputation. The attorneys at the Law Office of Jordan Watson can provide the legal advice and support you need to fight the charges against you and protect your future. The dedicated team can provide advice regarding your legal options, whether entering into a plea deal is in your best interest, and a defense strategy and options should you ultimately fight your case in trial.
Authoritative Sources: ks.gov