Strangulation Causing Physical Injury

An arrest for a domestic violence offense can have a significant impact on your private and public life, if not handled with care. Rochelle S. Berliner is an experienced Queens domestic violence attorney who understands your concerns.

She uses her considerable knowledge of the law and New York court rooms to fight for your freedom, including case dismissal and not guilty verdicts.

Queens Lawyer for Strangulation Causing Physical Injury Charges

Criminal charges specifically for strangulation or choking became effective in New York on November 11, 2010. Under this statutory scheme, strangulation or choking can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending on whether any physical injury occurred, and whether that physical injury was considered "serious."

Read more about the misdemeanor version of choking and strangulation under New York Penal Code Section 121.11(a) or (b), which is called "Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation." The misdemeanor version of the choking statute became effective on November 11, 2010 as a Class A Misdemeanor.

The second degree felony version of the criminal charge of choking is known as "Strangulation Causing Physical Injury" under New York Law became effective on November 11, 2010. The crime is charged as a Second Degree Class D felony under New York Penal Law Section 121.12.

Elements of Strangulation Causing Physical Injury

Elements of the offense include:

  • intent to impede the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by either:
    • applying pressure on the neck or throat of another person; or
    • blocking the nose or mouth of another person; and
  • thereby causing a loss of consciousness for any period of time, stupor, or any other physical impairment or injury.

Under New York's strangulation statute, the term "intent" is defined to mean "a conscious objective or purpose" to impede the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person. The term "physical injury" is defined in this statute as "impairment of physical condition or substantial pain.

Strangulation Causing Serious Physical Injury

Strangulation is a first degree Class C felony under New York Penal Law 121.13 if the additional element of causing serious physical injury can be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. New York's strangulation statute defines the term "serious physical injury" to mean:

  • impairment of a person's physical condition which causes protracted impairment of the function of any bodily organ;
  • protracted impairment of health;
  • protracted or serious disfigurement;
  • creating a substantial risk of death; or
  • actually causing death.

Defenses to Strangulation Causing Physical Injury

Affirmative defenses include New York Penal Law § 121.14 which provides that it is an affirmative defense to a prosecution for a criminal charge of strangulation if the defendant acted for a valid medical or dental purpose. The justification defense for a duly licensed physician, or a person acting under a physician’s direction, is set forth in New York Penal Law § 35.10(5).

The Law Office | Domestic Violence Strangulation Charges

If you have been arrested for strangulation causing serious injury, you cannot delay in seeking legal representation. Queens criminal defense attorney Rochelle S. Berliner represents clients throughout New York City, including the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

Law Office defends clients facing all types of domestic violence charges. Call or send an online message to receive a complete evaluation of your case during a free, no obligation consultation.