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Domestic Battery By Strangulation In Florida
There are many different crimes that fall under the umbrella of domestic violence in Florida – essentially, any crime that results in “physical injury or death” may qualify, depending on a few other factors. Among those offenses, domestic battery by strangulation has been singled out as one of the most despicable; it is seen as a deliberate, intimate crime perpetrated against a member of one’s own family or household. If you are charged with domestic battery, know that you face potentially significant consequences upon conviction.
Seen As Disproportionate Force
The average person defines ‘assault and battery’ as one crime, involving physical touching. In reality, the law separates assault and battery into two separate offenses, with assault being the imminent fear of battery, and battery being the actual act of intentional and unwanted touching. That ‘touching’ can occur in a variety of ways, up to and including strangulation, and the more severe the ‘touching,’ the more serious the charges.
Strangulation is seen as a very serious ‘touching,’ because it requires very little to accomplish, and the risk of long-term injury or fatality is quite high. Yet a defendant may sometimes face this charge even when no strangulation allegedly occurred – the potential sentence for a battery involving strangulation is more severe than that of a simple battery (up to 5 years vs. 1 year in jail), and it also gives a state’s attorney room to plea-bargain if the evidence in your case truly is lacking.
Potential Long-Term Consequences
While a charge of domestic battery by strangulation is one that must be taken seriously, know that there are potential defenses that you can assert in court in order to create reasonable doubt. Some of them will not apply in cases of strangulation – for example, battery by strangulation is not seen as an appropriate method of self-defense because that level of force will be seen as disproportionate. However, others may be appropriate in your situation, depending on the specific facts of your case.
The potential consequences if you are convicted are serious – up to 5 years in prison, up to 5 years’ probation afterward, required anger management courses, and the loss of certain privileges like owning firearms or having a firearm license. In addition, you are ineligible by statute to have your criminal record sealed, which can lead to issues in the future with people like landlords or potential employers. The stakes of navigating the legal process are high.
Contact A West Palm Beach Domestic Violence Attorney
Being charged with domestic battery by strangulation means that you stand accused of a serious offense, intended specifically to harm. A West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Perlet & Shiner, P.A. can help to ensure that your rights are protected during the legal process, and you are able to tell your side of the story. Contact our office today to speak to an attorney.