Battery by Strangulation

Domestic Violence Lawyer Serving the Bradenton Area

Florida prosecutors take domestic violence very seriously. One domestic violence charge is battery by strangulation. This occurs if you intentionally obstruct the normal blood circulation or breathing process of someone else by putting substantial pressure on the throat or neck or blocking the mouth or nose, creating the risk of great bodily harm or actually causing great bodily harm. Each domestic battery situation is unique, and there may be circumstances that give rise to a strong defense. If you are charged with battery by strangulation, you should consult an experienced Bradenton domestic violence attorney. Hanlon Law fights for the rights of the accused.

Fighting a Charge of Battery by Strangulation

Battery by strangulation is defined under Florida Statute section 784.041(2)(a). Someone commits domestic battery by strangulation when they: (1) intentionally and knowingly, against the other person's will, (2) impede the normal blood circulation or breathing of (3) a family or household member or person whom he or she is dating, (4) such that there is a risk of great bodily harm (5) through the blocking of the mouth or nose, or by putting pressure on the neck or throat. This would not apply to authorized acts of medical diagnosis or treatment.

Under this law, a dating relationship is a significant, continuing relationship that is of an intimate or romantic nature. Family or household members include spouses, ex-spouses, co-parents even if they do not live together, people who live together as a family or people who have previously lived together as a family, and people related by marriage or blood. Except for parents who co-parent a child, the family or household members must live together or must have lived together before in a single living unit in order to count as a family or household member under the statute.

Like felony battery, domestic battery by strangulation is a third-degree felony. That means that you can face up to five years in prison or five years on probation and a $5,000 fine. You may also need to complete a weeks-long Batterers’ Intervention program, face the loss of civil liberties, face repercussions in a family law matter, have a domestic violence injunction issued against you, and face a social stigma. The social stigma is more significant than it may appear because it can mean that you will not be able to find a place to rent or a job. You may not be able to get a professional license, and you may not be allowed to get a government student loan.

The appropriate defense for your attorney to raise depends on the circumstances as well as your prior criminal history, if any. Some allegations of domestic battery by strangulation are simply false. Like other crimes, this crime must be established beyond a reasonable doubt. It may be possible to raise a reasonable doubt about whether there was a great risk of bodily harm. Or, in certain situations, it may make sense to raise a reasonable doubt about whether the act of impeding breath was intentional and against the victim's will.

It may be credible to argue that you were defending yourself from an attack by the purported victim of strangulation, or that you were defending someone else who was being attacked. Sometimes there are no resulting injuries, or they are too trivial to be considered domestic battery by strangulation. In other cases, the injuries being alleged may be a result of an accident or an unintentional action.

Hire a Battery Defense Lawyer in the Bradenton Area

Battery by strangulation is a serious felony charge. You face the possibility of serious penalties and social repercussions. Domestic violence convictions cannot be expunged from your record or sealed, and they can haunt you far into the future. If you believe that you are being investigated for battery by strangulation, you should consult an experienced criminal attorney. You should not violate any injunction or no-contact order that has been put in place by a civil court because the violation can be charged as a crime. Our founder, Will Hanlon, has aggressively and knowledgeably represented the accused in Bradenton since 1994. You can contact Hanlon Law at 941.462.1789 or via our online form.