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Domestic abuse is a problem that impacts families and couples throughout the country. The abuse can be mental or physical, and often have long lasting effects. In Florida, this crime of violence can be charged as a felony if it is alleged that strangulation occurred.
The crime of “domestic battery by strangulation” comes with serious direct and indirect consequences. If you are convicted, there could be a lifetime of repercussions, including difficulty finding a job.
Even if the court withholds adjudication, the offense is not eligible to be sealed. The only way to expunge the arrest record is if the charges are dropped by the prosecutor or dismissed by the court. While you are on probation, you forfeit your right under both state and federal law to possession a firearm or ammunition. If you have a concealed weapons permit it will be revoked. If you possess a firearm after the conviction, you could face felony weapons chargesunder state or federal law.
False allegations are common. In many of these cases, there is very little physical evidence that is left behind. These charges are particularly common when a couple is fighting over money or children. Law enforcement officers often make the arrest based on nothing more than the allegations of the alleged victim.
Domestic abuse charges carry severe consequences and steep penalties. If you were charged with domestic battery by strangulation, you need an experienced Tallahassee domestic violence attorney fighting to protect your rights. Attorneys at Pumphrey Law will work with you to ensure the best possible outcome.
Contact an attorney at Pumphrey Law by calling (850) 681-7777 to discuss your domestic abuse case. Our attorneys represent clients throughout Tallahassee, Leon County and all of the surrounding areas, such as Crawfordville in Wakulla County, Monticello in Jefferson County, Quincy in Gadsden County and Bristol in Liberty County.
Because of the difficulties in prosecuting cases involving suffocation, choking or strangulation, the Florida legislature enacted a new form of domestic battery. Florida Statute Section 784.041(2)(a) makes it a third-degree felony to commit the offense of domestic battery by strangulation.
The offense is classified as a crime of domestic violence even though it can apply to individuals who are married or those who are in a dating relationship but never lived together or never had a child together.
The charge also applies to individuals in a “dating relationship,” which means a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature, according to Florida Statute 741.28.
It also can apply to a household member. The statute defines a household member as spouses, former spouses, someone living in the home who is related by blood or marriage or two people who have a child together, whether or not they are in a relationship.
With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
Domestic battery by strangulation requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the following elements:
The criminal offense of domestic battery by strangulation does not apply to any act of medical diagnosis, treatment or prescription, which is authorized under Florida law.
In Florida, domestic battery by strangulation is considered a third-degree felony. It carries harsh penalties, including a potential five-year prison sentence, a fine of up to $5,000 or both.
Aside from these penalties, when a person is convicted of this crime he or she also can be ordered to attend anger management courses, domestic violence awareness programs, counseling, and other appropriate penalties. The court can impose whatever additional penalties it finds fit.
One of the hardest parts of a domestic violence conviction is that a guilty plea or plea of no contest will lead to at least one year of probation and the requirement to participate in a domestic violence prevention program.
After an allegation of domestic violence, the stakes are high, and Florida law provides for harsh penalties. The indirect consequences also can be serious. After an allegation for a felony charge of felony battery, domestic battery by strangulation or battery on a pregnant female the stakes are even higher.
If you have been charged with any crime of violence involving a wife, girlfriend or domestic partner, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Pumphrey Law. With offices in Tallahassee, Pumphrey Law represents clients throughout Leon County and the surrounding areas. Call (850) 681-7777 to schedule your free consultation.
This article was last updated on Friday, August 12, 2016.
Attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney. Don has achieved over 100 not guilty verdicts at trial and over 2,000 dismissals.
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