NYC Domestic Violence and Strangulation Lawyers
Domestic violence is an overarching catchall term used to describe crimes which take place in which the victim has a domestic interpersonal relationship with the perpetrator. Most people think of romantic relationships when they hear “domestic violence,” and it’s true that intimate relationships do qualify. If you commit a crime against someone you’re married to or dating, that’s considered domestic violence. But the term also refers to violence committed between family members, as well as violence committed between unrelated people who live in the same household.
Domestic violence crimes cover a wide variety of different crimes, including varying forms of assault, stalking, and murder. Strangulation is one of the charges which a person might face in a domestic violence setting. In most cases, a charge of domestic violence including strangulation will come with other charges, including assault charges.
Strangulation is defined as the obstruction of the blood circulation or breathing of another person. There are three types of strangulation charges: criminal obstruction of a person’s breathing or circulation, second degree strangulation and first degree strangulation.
Second degree strangulation charges are leveled against a person when that person, while causing the obstruction of another person’s airway or blood circulation, made the victim fall into a stupor, lose consciousness, or suffer a physical injury.
One example is the case People v. Fairman, a New York case which was tried in 2012. In this case, the defendant had been charged with second degree strangulation because he had twisted a shirt around the neck of the victim. The victim was the mother of his children. She testified in court that she couldn’t breath and that her vision became blurry. The children of the couple acted as witnesses to these actions.
Another example is People v. Carte. The defendant was Bryan Carte, who had been accused of choking his girlfriend and shoving pizza into her face. The girlfriend suffered abrasions, scratches, and cuts along with visible marks to her neck. Because the victim experienced significant pain and suffered neck injuries, Carte was convicted of second degree strangulation.
To be convicted of second degree strangulation, the court must prove that the victim suffered a physical impairment or lost consciousness because of the perpetrator’s actions. If the court cannot prove this, a lesser charge of obstruction of the airway might be more appropriate.
First degree strangulation is a more serious charge. To be charged with first degree strangulation, the victim must have suffered a serious injury as a result of the strangulation. It’s considered a class C felony.
One example is a husband and wife who were arguing. The husband squeezed the neck of his wife and continued to squeeze until the woman fell limply to the floor. At that point, the husband called emergency services. When emergency personnel arrived on the scene, they had difficulties with the wife’s revival. The wife was brought to the hospital, and the attending physician realized that brain damage had been suffered. Because of the injury’s severity, the husband was charged with first degree strangulation.
To be convicted of first degree strangulation, the prosecutor must prove that a serious physical injury was suffered by the victim because of the strangulation. New York law defines “serious physical injury” very specifically. This requires the injury to have caused death, presented a significant risk of death, or caused protracted disfigurement.
First degree strangulation is a violent felony offense and a class C felony. If convicted, you’ll be sentenced to at least 3 1/2 years imprisoned.
If you’ve been charged with a domestic violence-related strangulation crime, Spodek Law Group is a group of experienced defenders who can help you with your case.