People can get accused of domestic violence for all kinds of situations, including defending themselves against a spouse who turned suddenly aggressive. Any domestic violence charge could damage your reputation, affect your gun ownership rights and even cost you your freedom. Certain kinds of domestic violence carry more consequences than others under Florida law.
The act of strangling someone or restricting their breathing is one of the more serious forms of domestic violence under current Florida law. Given the strong association of strangulation-based assaults with increased future risk for the victim, Florida makes domestic violence situations involving strangulation a more serious offense than other kinds of interpersonal violence.
Strangulation leads to charges of domestic battery
Under Florida law, intentionally and non-consensually impeding someone’s ability to breathe is a form of domestic battery. Specifically, it is the domestic battery by strangulation. The penalties associated with these charges would include mandatory jail time if the victim suffered notable injuries and a permanent criminal record. It could also lead to an immigrant’s deportation.
Additionally, unlike other forms of domestic violence that are misdemeanors, domestic battery by strangulation is a third-degree felony charge. It could mean up to five years in prison, $5,000 in fines and possibly five years of probation. The judge will ultimately be the one who decides whether they want to sentence someone to probation or incarceration, and even a first offense might lead to the maximum penalty possible.
The charges could also affect your professional licensing, your living situation and even the custody of your children if you divorce. Understanding how the state handles different domestic violence allegations can help you plan to defend yourself.