Domestic Violence: What You Should Know Before Calling 911

If it’s an emergency, you call 911. That’s a given, right? But most people aren’t aware of the costly legal ordeal you expose yourself to when it comes to Kansas Domestic Violence laws. Yes, there are certainly times when law enforcement needs to be involved, but consider for a minute what happens when they show up to a “garden variety” spousal spat.

Here’s a typical situation…

You are arguing with your significant other over something. Likely one or both of you have had something to drink, and emotions are high. If both of you would just walk away and deal with the matter in the morning it wouldn’t be a problem as far as criminal actions go. But, in the heat of the moment, one of you decides to call 911. Then the police show up.

This is when a simple argument turns into a nightmare.

Kansas Domestic Violence LawsThe police arrive. They are not there just to referee and calm everyone down. They have come to arrest someone. That’s the law, and if both of you are judged to be offenders by the officers, you’re both arrested. Unfortunately, this is how a simple spousal argument quickly escalates into a criminal charge of Domestic Violence. Now you’re arrested, taken to headquarters, processed, finger printed and your mug shot taken.

Right about the time you are handcuffed and head-pushed into the squad car, you’re regretting that call to 911. But none of this matters any more. It’s all out of your control now. You can’t change your mind. You can’t say we promise to stop fighting, and “please, let us go home.” The system is in control now, and you’re about to enter their legal grinder.

Even worse, if you have children, and both of you are arrested, your children are shipped off to state custody. But that’s only the beginning of the nightmare. Now you need an attorney – more expenses. And if you’re convicted, it is probably a minimum jail sentence of less than 10 days, plus fines and court costs. Worse yet, with a domestic violence conviction on your record, you can’t hold a number of jobs, own or possess a firearm or hunting license, join the military, be eligible for many government jobs and you may be terminated from your current job. This is the nightmare many law-biding citizens find themselves in when they call 911 over a simple marital spat. You would have been much better off working out your differences privately.

I recognize domestic violence and abuse is a problem. If you are in that situation, you need to get help immediately. There are a lot of great resources out there for you. I have listed some below.

In closing, you should really think long and hard before involving law enforcement in your personal lives. You won’t like the way you are treated.

Kansas Attorney General Domestic Violence Page

Kansas Bar Association Domestic Violence Guide

Kansas Domestic Violence Help and Programs