Non-fatal strangulation involving intimate partners is seen as a bright red flag foreshadowing the risk of domestic violence homicide. In one analysis published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine, 60 percent of those who experience domestic violence are strangled during the course of that relationship. If the person loses consciousness, they risk death within one-to-two days due to strokes, aspiration, and blood clots. A person who is strangled once is 800 percent more likely to become a victim of homicide by their partner.
For these reasons, as our Fort Lauderdale domestic violence defense lawyers can explain, Florida prosecutors and the courts are going to take an allegation of domestic violence strangulation very seriously. If convicted, you will be facing substantial penalties, including the possibility of years behind bars.
If you are accused of domestic violence strangulation in Florida, it is imperative that you immediately get in touch with a criminal defense attorney. A lawyer will work to inform you of your rights and obligations, protect you from unwittingly harming your case, and swiftly identify any violation of rights that may impact the strength of the state’s evidence against you.
What is Domestic Violence Strangulation?
Under Florida law, domestic battery by strangulation, as defined in F.S. 784.01, is a felony offense. It’s a charge that can apply when a person commits domestic battery while knowingly, intentionally, and against the will of the other person impedes the normal breathing or circulation of blood of a person, so as to create great bodily harm while applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth. The victim in these cases is a family or household member, a romantic partner (current or previous) or someone with whom you share a child.
This offense is considered a third-degree felony. Although that is technically the lowest level of felony, it still carries potential penalties of up to five years in prison PLUS five years of probation PLUS $5,000 in fines – not to mention restrictions on firearms possession and mandatory batterers’ intervention courses (which you must pay for). If there are aggravating circumstances, such as use of a deadly weapon or a victim who is a minor, the charge could be bumped to a second-degree felony, which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. This is also true if the alleged victim suffers serious or lasting injury or death. Those with prior criminal records will likely face more significant penalties as well.
It’s important for anyone facing a Florida charge for domestic violence strangulation to understand that prosecutors are aggressive when it comes to this charge. They will be pressing the courts for extended periods of prison time and probation oversight. Even if this is the only time you’ve ever been in trouble with the law, you can expect that they are going to try to throw the book at you. And because this is a domestic violence case, it doesn’t matter if the alleged victim wants to “drop the charges.” They don’t have the authority to do so. Only the prosecutor does. This is another reason you need to have an attorney with specific experience in domestic violence cases representing you.
Failure to Seek South Florida Domestic Violence Attorney Help Can Hamper Your Case
This is a charge that will substantially impact you for the rest of your life if you’re convicted. Continue reading