Assault by Strangulation

Assault by Strangulation

Assault by Strangulation is usually a charge stemming from Domestic Assault, or Family Violence, is a subcategory of assault. It is a very serious subcategory however, since the allegation of "Strangulation" by itself causes the assault to be an automatic 3rd Degree Felony. A prior assault may enhance a new Assault by Strangulation case to a 2nd Degree Felony.

What Defines Strangulation?

Assault by Strangulation must involve the following, as noted in the statute below: "impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person???s throat or neck or by blocking the person???s nose or mouth." Impeding means to delay or prohibit, so the strangulation can range from full choaking all the way down to merely making it difficult to breath.

Defenses to Strangulation

Officers are trained to look for signs of strangulation, since it's so easy to just claim strangulation and have a person arrested for a felony. Officers may look for redness, swelling, broken blood vessels, or petechiae. The lack of these physical observations of strangulation may yield defenses for the accused.


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Sec. 22.01(B). ASSAULT FAMILY VIOLENCE.

(B) the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person's throat or neck or by blocking the person's nose or mouth;


Penalties for Family Assault
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Applicable
Class B Misdemeanor Not Applicable
Class A Misdemeanor Not Applicable
State jail felony Not Applicable
3rd Degree Felony 2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines

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