When a domestic dispute gets physical, prosecutors often charge an alleged offender with battery, which means intentionally touching someone against their will or causing bodily injury. Simple battery is a misdemeanor crime.
However, when the battery involves allegedly choking someone or cutting off their airway, Florida has enacted a separate crime called domestic battery by strangulation. The crime is a third-degree felony and could lead to five years imprisonment in the state penitentiary.
If you face a strangulation charge, call an experienced domestic violence attorney immediately. An Orlando strangulation lawyer could present a vigorous defense and resolve the charges in the most favorable manner possible.
When police respond to a domestic violence call, their role is to ensure everyone’s safety. That could mean arresting the person they perceive as the dominant aggressor if they find probable cause that a criminal act occurred.
Police identify the dominant aggressor by considering the 911 call, statements of the parties and witnesses, the parties’ demeanors, their relative sizes and physical condition, and any visible injuries. If a party claims the other tried to choke them or cut off their blood circulation, or if the party has marks on their neck from fingers or an object that could be used to strangle, the other party will likely face arrest.
It is not advisable for someone under suspicion of strangulation to explain the incident to the police. The wisest action is to cooperate with the officers but say as little as possible and contact an Orlando strangulation defense attorney at the first opportunity.
Florida Statute § 784.041(2)(a) describes the crime of domestic battery by strangulation. Someone must knowingly limit air or blood flow by putting pressure on the alleged victim’s neck or throat, or blocking their nose and mouth.
The defendant’s actions must put the person at risk of significant bodily harm. The alleged victim must live with the accused in an intimate or familiar relationship, be a relative by blood or marriage, a spouse or former spouse, a co-parent with the accused, or in a dating relationship.
The law considers domestic battery by strangulation a violent crime. In addition to criminal penalties, a conviction could have an impact on gun rights, eligibility for certain professional licenses, immigration status, and child custody matters.
An arrest and initial charge of strangulation is not the same as a conviction, and an Orlando lawyer could explore all alternative resolutions to the charges.
Insufficient proof of a knowing attempt to strangle could be an effective defense in many cases. Police might make an arrest based on someone’s claims without supporting evidence of a willful attempt to strangle. The prosecutor must prove the accused intended to do so, and they often lack the necessary evidence.
The attempt at strangulation must have put the alleged victim at risk of serious bodily harm. If the accused briefly interfered with the breathing but stopped before there was sufficient harm, that could defeat a strangulation charge. Similarly, a strangulation charge might not stand if the defendant accidently got caught in the person’s necklace or scarf but immediately attempted to free themselves.
A conviction for domestic battery by strangulation could have far-reaching consequences. Do not attempt to defend yourself without an experienced defense attorney.
An Orlando strangulation lawyer has a thorough knowledge of the law and practical understanding of how prosecutors settle cases. They will strive to achieve the best possible results the evidence allows. Reach out to us as soon as you are arrested.
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