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Domestic Battery by Strangulation

Domestic violence defense attorney Tallahassee, Florida

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 Violence Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee

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.


Information About Domestic Abuse by Strangulation in North Florida


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Domestic Battery by Strangulation Defined By Florida Law

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.


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Elements of Domestic Battery by Strangulation in Tallahassee

Domestic battery by strangulation requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the following elements:

  • The defendant acts knowingly and intentionally so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm
  • Against the will of another
  • Impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person
  • By applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person
  • The other person is a family or household member or of a person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship

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.


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Penalties for Domestic Violence by Strangulation

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.


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Additional Resources on Felony Battery Charges

  • Florida Statute Section 784.041(2)(a)
    Read the entire statute on the Florida Senate’s website with links to the legislative history of this domestic violence offense.
  • The Institute for Family Violence Studies
    The Florida State University in Tallahassee institute collaborates with public and private organizations to advocate for effective policies to eliminate all forms of domestic violence throughout the United States, Florida and Tallahassee.

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Finding a Strangulation Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Tallahassee

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.