Domestic Battery by Strangulation

Domestic Violence Attorney Representing Clearwater Residents

Domestic Battery by Strangulation is an enhanced domestic violence charge that can carry significant criminal penalties if you are convicted. Battery by strangulation is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison, whereas simple domestic battery is a misdemeanor offense. Domestic battery by strangulation is also unique in that, in order to be charged with this offense, the parties must be involved in a domestic relationship. If you are charged with the serious offense of domestic battery by strangulation, contact the Clearwater domestic violence lawyers at Hanlon law today to defend you.

Battery by Strangulation

Domestic battery by strangulation occurs when a person who is involved in a domestic relationship with a victim commits a specific type of battery. Simple battery is defined as the unlawful and uninvited touching or striking of another person. Battery by strangulation is a more specific offense. The prosecution must prove that the defendant committed a battery, and in the course of committing the battery impeded the breathing or circulation of blood by either choking the victim or covering the victim’s nose and mouth.

The legislature has created the specific offense of domestic battery by strangulation because claims of choking have become all to common in domestic violence cases. In order to deter such conduct, the government created the enhanced offense and imposed more severe penalties for those who are convicted of it. As in many cases of enhanced criminal charges, the enhanced penalties can also be abused by prosecutors and alleged victims who understand the system.

Many domestic violence situations arise over jealousy involving unfaithfulness in a relationship. Others arise from child custody disputes and other hotly contested issues. Romantic relationships tend to be hotbeds for conflict. And when conflicts arise, people say and do things in their anger that they can regret. In a desire to “get revenge,” or to stay out of trouble it is common for alleged victims to lie about what actually happened resulting in the arrest of a potentially innocent person. If you have been arrested in such a situation, you should contact a diligent Clearwater domestic violence attorney today.

The Domestic Violence Investigation

When police arrive at a domestic violence call, they are bound by certain policies and procedures. Typically, the responding officers are required to arrest one or both of the parties involved in the domestic dispute. If they do not make an arrest, they are required to write a report describing why they made a choice not to take anyone into custody. This police policy encourages officers to make a split decision at the scene of a domestic violence situation, often without doing a full investigation. Once the police have made an arrest, they will pass along the case to the State Attorney’s Office who will make the final decision about bringing criminal charges. Unlike a civil lawsuit, the lawyers at the State Attorney’s Office do not represent the victim and have no duty to follow the victim’s wishes. Often, alleged victims in domestic violence situations recant their claims or decide not to pursue criminal charges once things cool down. These alleged victims are typically surprised when the State Attorney’s office decides to pursue charges against their wishes. If you or a loved one find yourself in a similar situation, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced Clearwater domestic violence attorney who can effectively present your case to the prosecutors.

Defenses

Because domestic violence by strangulation is a unique offense, it also comes with unique defenses. Your lawyer may be able to prove that the victim in the case has a basis to lie about the incident and can impeach the alleged victim at a self-defense hearing or at trial. You may be able to raise the defense of mutual combat, arguing that both you and the alleged victim engaged in a simultaneous fight. Specifically, your lawyer may be able to prove that the victim’s breathing or circulation was not impaired in order to reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor.

Consult a Dedicated Clearwater Domestic Violence Attorney

At Hanon Law, we handle all varieties of domestic violence cases. We have a proven track record of getting the best possible results for our clients and we will fight for you and your loved ones. Call us today at 727-897-5413.