Domestic Violence Assault & Battery by Strangulation

The state of Florida takes domestic violence charges very seriously. Convictions for domestic violence charges may cause accused individuals to lose their jobs, their relationships, and even time with their children if the charges are used against them in a divorce or custody dispute. However, with an experienced Tampa DV lawyer like Marc Joseph by your side, someone accused of domestic violence has a greater chance of obtaining a favorable outcome in the case.

What is domestic violence by strangulation?

There are many actions that can be considered as domestic violence. More specifically, domestic violence by strangulation is a crime separate from other DV charges. According to Florida Statute 784.041(2)(a), someone commits domestic battery by strangulation if that individual intentionally and knowingly, against the will of the other person, obstructs the breathing or circulation of a family or household member, or of someone that the individual is dating, in a manner that risks causing great bodily harm by putting pressure on the neck or throat or covering the nose or mouth.

A family or household member is defined as a spouse, ex-spouse, someone related by blood or marriage, someone that lives with or formerly lived with the accused, or those who have a child in common. Domestic violence by strangulation is a third-degree felony.

What are the penalties for domestic violence by strangulation?

Domestic violence by strangulation is a felony—specifically, a third-degree felony by strangulation is punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Five years of probation and up to a $5,000 fine may also be ordered. Further, someone convicted of domestic violence by strangulation may have to complete a batterers intervention program. Also, the individual’s concealed weapons permit may be revoked, and the individual may not ever be able to have the charges expunged or his criminal record sealed.

Are there any defenses available to domestic violence by strangulation?

By hiring a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged with domestic violence by strangulation, you may be able to raise defenses to fight your charges.

For example, if you accidentally choked a family member or household member, domestic violence by strangulation charges are not proper. Domestic violence by strangulation requires that the offender knowingly and intentionally committed the crime. Therefore, the prosecution must show that you had the specific intent to impede the accuser’s breathing or circulation. Otherwise, your charges may be reduced or dismissed.

In addition, self-defense may be raised if the facts support it. Florida allows for a “stand your ground” defense. If you were attacked, you had the right to meet the attacker with similar force, even deadly force, if you were trying to protect yourself from serious bodily injury or death.

It is wise to consult with an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after you have been charged so that your attorney may begin working on your case. The sooner you hire an attorney, the better your chances are of having a favorable outcome.


Call  Tampa criminal lawyer Marc A. Joseph, P.A. (813) 234-6374 and see how we can assist you during this difficult time. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your criminal defense options and legal rights.