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Domestic Battery by Strangulation

Domestic abuse of any type can result in serious repercussions. When domestic violence takes the form of battery by strangulation, however, the consequences are enhanced tenfold. In Florida, domestic battery by strangulation is a separate crime from battery. It’s a felony-level offense that can land you in prison for years.

Domestic battery by strangulation is more common than you think. People will sometimes impede the normal breathing of another family member to exert control. However, in some cases domestic battery by strangulation is not at all related to violence but is in fact false accusations by a spurned partner. No matter the circumstances, it’s highly recommended you secure legal counsel before heading forward.

Domestic Violence Attorney for Strangulation in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Allegations of domestic violence especially instances involving strangulation are incredibly serious. If you’ve been accused of domestic battery by strangulation, it’s highly advised you gain legal representation. To find a skilled attorney with domestic violence crimes experience, contact the lawyers at Meltzer & Bell.

Meltzer & Bell is a group of defense attorneys ready to fight for you. We have the resources, knowledge and passion needed to fight for your case. Not only that, but we have over 20 collective years of experience we can utilize for your case. Don’t hesitate and call us now at (954) 765-6585.

Our legal team represents people throughout the Broward County area including Pembroke Pines, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Coral Springs.

Overview of Strangulation in Florida

What is Domestic Battery by Strangulation in Florida?

Using force to obstruct someone’s breathing is considered strangulation. If the instance was in a domestic violence setting, then the crime is considered to be domestic battery by strangulation under Florida law. According to Florida Statute § 784.041, a person is guilty of domestic battery by strangulation if they knowingly and intentionally:

  • Impede the normal breathing and circulation of the blood of a person against their will by applying pressure on their throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of the victim; and
  • By doing these actions, the defendant created a risk of great bodily harm to the victim

A distinguishing factor of domestic battery by strangulation is who the act is directed towards. To be charged, the defendant and victim must be either a family or household member defined under Florida law. The following are types of relationships that could be considered a family member or a member of a household in Florida.

  • Individuals who dwell together in a household;
  • Individuals who previously dwelled together in a household;
  • People related by marriage or sanguinity (blood);
  • People who have a child or children in common;
  • Former spouses or current spouses;
  • Individuals residing together as a family; and
  • Couples who have been in a dating relationship for at least six months

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Common Evidence Found in a Strangulation Case

Normally, a domestic battery by strangulation charge almost always stems from an arrest. Many domestic abuse instances involve law enforcement after a disturbance or emergency call. If called, officers typically will look for signs of strangulation on the victim. If the victim has ulterior motives, it can be hard for officers to discover the truth.

Common signs of strangulation police officers look to identify include:

  • Dizziness;
  • Psychosis or amnesia;
  • Headaches;
  • Difficulty speaking;
  • Sore throat;
  • Involuntary urination;
  • A stiff neck or pulled muscle;
  • Swollen neck;
  • Sounding out of breath;
  • Abrasions under the chin
  • Small red spots on the neck or face known as petechiae;
  • Involuntary defection;
  • A raspy voice;
  • Injuries if an object was used to strangle the victim; and
  • Blood shot eyes from burst capillaries;

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Florida Penalties for Domestic Battery by Strangulation

The penalties for domestic battery by strangulation are much more harsh than standard domestic abuse charges. In Florida, strangulation is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a possible fine of $5,000.

A domestic battery by strangulation conviction can carry collateral consequences as well. The following are some further legal conditions a judge can add to your sentence in addition to the statutory penalties of the crime.

  • Ineligibility to expunge or seal your record;
  • Forfeiture of right to own firearms while on probation;
  • Revocation of a concealed carry permit; and
  • Mandatory completion of a 29 Week Batterer’s Intervention Program

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Additional Resources

The National Domestic Violence Hotline – Visit the official website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline to learn more about their services. Access the site to view their lifesaving tools and immediate support to enable victims of domestic abuse to seek safety and live free from violence or harassment.

Florida Strangulation Laws – Visit the official website of the Florida Statutes to read their laws on domestic battery by strangulation. Access the site to view the elements of strangulation, the legal definitions and penalties for domestic battery by strangulation.

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Strangulation Lawyer in Broward County, Florida

If you or someone you know has been accused of domestic battery by strangulation, it’s time you gain legal representation. Our lawyers at Meltzer & Bell have been practicing for years and can defend you in a court of law. We will do whatever’s possible to get the best result for your case.

Call us now at (954) 765-6585 and schedule a free appointment today. Our offices can be located in Fort Lauderdale, but we practice throughout Broward County including Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Coral Springs and Deerfield Beach.

This article as last updated on September 4, 2019. 

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