If you are charged with a felony in Kansas you have a lot on the line. Not only may you be looking at prison time but there are a host of other collateral consequences that may come into play if you are convicted of a felony including;
- Loss of voting rights.
- Loss of firearm rights.
- Difficulty in finding a job.
- Limitations on where you can live.
- Loss of a professional license.
These are just a few problems you may be facing if charged with a felony. On this page, I am not discussing the collateral consequences associated with a felony criminal charge. This page focuses on how to determine the possible range of punishment a person is facing if they are convicted of a felony.
In Kansas, most felony crimes are given a classification and then ranked in severity level. There are two primary classifications, drug crimes and non-drug crimes. Within each classification is a ranking system. For Drug Crimes, crimes are ranked in severity from level one to level five. For Non-Drug crimes, crimes are ranked in severity from level one to level ten. When a person is charged with a felony, they need to look at their charging document to determine what classification of felony and level of crime they are facing.
Once you know the classification of crime and the severity level of crime, you need to determine your criminal history score. Kansas, like many other states, is more strict or stringent on individuals that have a criminal history. The more trouble that a person has been in past, the more trouble they are facing on any new case. There are nine possible “criminal history score” rankings that a person can receive.
Criminal History A = 3 or more person felonies on defendant’s record
Criminal History B = 2 person felonies on defendant’s record
Criminal History C = 1 person felony and one nonperson felony on defendant’s record
Criminal History D = 1 person felony on defendant’s record
Criminal History E = 3 or more nonperson felonies on defendant’s record
Criminal History F = 2 nonperson felonies on defendant’s record
Criminal History G = 1 nonperson felony on defendant’s record
Criminal History H = 2 or more misdemeanors on defendant’s record
Criminal History I = 1 misdemeanor on defendant’s record or no record at all
Once you have determined your criminal history score and you know the severity level of crime in which you are charged with you need to consult the appropriate sentencing grid to determine There are two sentencing grids, one is for non-drug felonies and is a ten level grid; the other grid is for drug felonies and is a 5 level grid. Here are examples.
To determine the “amount of trouble that you are in” simply find the severity level of crime in which you are charged with and your criminal history score and find where those two lines intersect. Where those two lines intersect, you will find three numbers. Those numbers represent an amount of prison time that a judge may sentence you to. The low number represents cases involving mitigating factors, the high number represents cases involving aggregating factors.
The different shades on the grids represent one of the most important aspects of a possible sentence. The boxes that are white represent “presumptive prison,” the light grey boxes represent “presumptive probation,” and the dark shaded boxes are “border boxes.” The Drug Grid is very similar it uses blue as opposed to grey.
Once you have narrowed it down to the three numbers you will have a range the possible punishment you are facing, you will know if the crime is presumptive probation or presumptive prison. The last thing you need to concern yourself with is “Special Rules” for more information on special rules in Kansas and how they can make your sentence more severe review our page on Special Rules.
Remember, just because the crime that you are charged with in conjunction with your criminal history may indicate that you are facing a presumptive prison sentence, it does not mean that you are in fact going to go to prison If you are charged with a crime in Johnson County, Kansas you need to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at the outset to help prepare and fight for your rights.