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Archive for Monday, April 24, 1995

SOUND OFF

April 24, 1995

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Being charged with stalking is a felony offense. For a first-time offender, the sentence is three to seven months. But a Class A misdemeanor first-time offender can receive a maximum sentence of one year and a $2,500 fine. Why is the misdemeanor more than a felony?

Lisa Moots, executive director of the Kansas Sentencing Commission, said that under Kansas Sentencing Guidelines, stalking involving a first-time offender would be a level 10 felony crime. It would carry a penalty of presumptive probation upon conviction. A prison term would be imposed for the offense only if the defendant had two or more prior person felony convictions.

Although a person convicted under those circumstances likely would not go to prison, he would still carry the stigma of having a felony conviction on his record and would likely be sentenced to prison if he was convicted of a second crime.

Moots also said that in most cases, defendants convicted of Class A misdemeanor crimes don't spend a year in custody. Statewide, she said, the average period of incarceration for a Class A misdemeanor is three to four months.

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