p. 316.660-3600toll free. 800.432.6878
535 N. Main
Wichita, KS 67203
In the 1996 legislative session, Kansas lawmakers mandated that
effective January 1, 1997, guidelines must be established and followed in all
domestic violence motivated crimes:
"...all prosecuting attorneys, as defined in K.S.A.
22-2202, and amendments thereto, if such prosecuting
attorney prosecutes crimes relating to domestic violence, shall
adopt and put into effect written policies regarding the
prosecution of crimes related to domestic violence. Such written
policies shall include, but not be limited to, the effective
prosecution of such crimes and the protection and safety of
victims and such victim's children from domestic violence..."
Violence or threats of violence are crimes and must be
treated equally under the law regardless of the relationship of
the parties to one another.
It has been the long-established policy of the District Attorney for the 18th
Judicial District to aggressively prosecute violent crime, including those
categorized as domestic violence. These written guidelines are consistent with
existing policy, legislative intent and the continued goal of prosecution to
provide justice through offender accountability, safety for the victim and such
victim's children, as well as protection of the community from future violence,
whatever its source.
The District Attorney has adopted a broad definition of domestic and family
violence to include child physical and sexual abuse, elder abuse and child
endangerment in addition to the statutory definition of "domestic battery" as
found in Kansas Statutes Annotated 21-3412a. These definitions are
consistent with Kansas law, statutory construction and are set forth in the
District Attorney Guidelines for the Presentation and Charging of Domestic
The District Attorney participates in community based groups and
organizations dedicated to understanding domestic violence issues. Only through
cohesive efforts can domestic violence be reduced, recidivism of offenders be
diminished and the goals of effective prosecution realized.
The District Attorney reviews cases presented for prosecution and, where
appropriate, charges cases that meet the requirements set forth in the District
Attorney Guidelines for the Presentation and Charging of Domestic Violence
The District Attorney continues to work as an integral part of a coordinated
law enforcement effort to reduce domestic violence incidents. The District
Attorney consults and collaborates with law enforcement in meeting criminal
justice goals and objectives to assure that policies are complimentary and not
oppositional. The District Attorney works to educate and inform law enforcement
officers by participating in their educational process.
The District Attorney works as well to educate and inform the community,
legislators and courts in the dynamics of interfamilial relationships that
frequently involve escalating levels of violence. The District Attorney makes
recommendations for changes that will achieve the goals of reducing incidents of
The District Attorney provides distinct services in domestic violence cases,
that include prompt involvement of victims with the court system, referral of
victims to appropriate outside resources that foster support, encouragement and
contact with victim advocates. Recognizing that early introduction of a strong
advocate holds the best hope of getting the victim to follow through with the
prosecution, it is our goal to educate victims and refer them to appropriate
providers to assist them in their understanding of how to minimize chances of
The District Attorney believes domestic violence threatens the safety and
well being of children through direct abuse or indirectly by endangering their
primary caretakers. The cycle of violence continues to be perpetuated
generationally. Immediate intervention by law enforcement or social service
agencies on behalf of the children is mandated.
The District Attorney has established a special unit of attorneys to develop,
implement and prosecute domestic violence cases. The decision whether to
prosecute rests solely within the discretion of the District Attorney, however,
guidelines for the review of cases has been set forth consistent with
When charges are filed, each participant in the process has certain defined
obligations. While the setting of bonds, conditions thereof and no contact
orders is within the sole province of the court, the prosecutor will endeavor to
make known to the court those facts and circumstances upon which the State has
relied in the filing of criminal charges to assist the court in making this
decision. The prosecutor shall also review the case, giving special
consideration to the impact of domestic violence not only on the victim of the
crime as alleged, but on those minor children whose lives have been impacted.
One stated goal in resolving violent crime requires offender accountability.
In domestic violence cases, the relationship of the parties makes cases
management difficult. It is not uncommon during the court process for a
prosecutor to encounter a witness (victim) who may be hostile or uncooperative.
Many times because of the relationship of the parties, a victim will engage in
conduct that may cause the prosecution to be hampered. Efforts will be made by
the prosecution to see that each and every case is handled within the legal
system and in a manner consistent with the interest of justice.
Contact the office of the
District Attorney Domestic
Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.
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