Assault is a common charge in Texas with serious penalties. However, your penalties could be enhanced if you strangled someone during the assault. Impeding air flow or blocking circulation of the blood can lead to serious bodily injury or death. Because of this, in 2009 Texas legislation has implemented elevated penalties for assault by strangulation.
In some cases, assault by strangulation is simply a misunderstanding. Especially when the “suffocation” is done in a sexual nature. Despite this, studies have found that strangling another person can lead cut off oxygen to the brain. This can lead to serious injuries such as short-term memory loss or even traumatic brain injuries.
The jury will be unforgiving, even if no severe injuries occurred. It’s important you have strong legal representation to fight these charges. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault by strangulation, it’s imperative you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Attorney for Assault by Strangulation
Assault by strangulation is an enhanced charge with heavy penalties. You could face felony charges and time in prison. If you or someone you know has been charged with assault by strangulation, it’s crucial you gain trusted legal representation.
Contact [frim] now for effective and efficient legal counsel. Our attorneys have years of experience handling violent crime cases, including assault by strangulation. Using our resources, skills and knowledge our team can formulate a strong defense.
Call (713) 224-5529 for a free consultation. The attorneys at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. defend people with assault allegations throughout the greater Houston metropolitan area including Uptown, River Oaks and Magnolia Park.
Overview of Assault by Strangulation
- How Does Texas Define Assault by Strangulation?
- Different Types of Strangulation
- Common Evidence Used in a Strangulation Case
- Additional Resources
How Does Texas Define Assault by Strangulation?
Under Texas law, assault involves a person harming or threatening to harm another person. Charges and penalties for the crime will be enhanced if the assault was committed by strangulation. But first, the prosecution must prove certain facts without a reasonable doubt to convict you of assault by strangulation. To be convicted of the crime, you must have:
- Acted knowingly, intentionally or recklessly by:
- Impeding the normal breathing of another person; or
- Impeding the normal circulation of the blood of another by applying pressure to their throat or neck. It can also be considered strangulation if you block a person’s nose or mouth.
Normally, an assault charge is a class A misdemeanor, but when the crime involves strangulation, it’s classified as a second-degree felony. A second-degree felony is punishable by the following:
- Up to 20 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000
Your penalties will also be enhanced if you have a previous conviction of assault by strangulation and are charged with standard assault. You will not face a class A misdemeanor, but instead a third-degree felony that can result in:
- Up to 10 years in prison; and
- A possible fine of up to $10,000
Different Types of Strangulation
Many people aren’t aware there are different types of strangulation. Choking crimes can be defined as hanging, ligature or manual. Your defense attorney can utilize scientific information about the strangulation in your case to prove you’re not guilty of the crime.
Listed below is a brief explanation of each type of strangulation.
- Manual Strangulation – This is most common form of strangulation is manual. Manual strangulation involves using the hands or arms to block another’s mouth, nose or neck is considered to be manual strangulation. Blocking a person’s windpipe with your foot is also manual strangulation.
- Ligature – Strangulation is considered ligature if an object was used to choke a victim. Some examples of objects that can be used to impede another’s breathing this include shoelaces, phone cords, chains and ropes.
- Hanging – When suspension is used to choke another person it’s referred to as hanging. For example, a person is a victim of hanging strangulation if they are suspended by a rope tied around their neck.
Common Evidence in a Strangulation Case
Usually, an assault charge stems from an arrest, typically a domestic violence situation. Law enforcement may visit your home after a disturbance or emergency call. They will typically look for signs of strangulation in the victim if there are accusations of assault. If the alleged victim has ulterior motives, it can be hard for police officers to discover the truth. Especially if the strangulation stemmed from a sexual act.
Common signs of strangulation law enforcement will look for include:
- Difficulty speaking;
- Sore throat;
- Psychosis or amnesia;
- Involuntary urination;
- Involuntary defection;
- A raspy voice;
- A stiff neck or pulled muscle;
- Swollen neck;
- Small red spots on the neck or face known as petechiae;
- Injuries if an object was used to strangle the victim;
- Blood shot eyes from burst capillaries;
- Sounding out of breath; and
- Abrasions under the chin
Texas Council on Family Violence – Visit a document provided by the Texas Council on Family Violence for more information about assault by strangulation. Access the digital pamphlet to learn more about strangulation signs, the difference between suffocation and strangulation and statistics which linking strangulation to increased risk of death.
National Domestic Violence Hotline – Visit the official website of the National Domestic Violence Hotline for victim resources. Access the site to learn more about their hotline, how to get involved and tips on staying safe in a domestic violence situation.
Lawyer for Strangulation in Harris County, Texas
If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic assault, it’s crucial you have legal counsel. An assault by strangulation case can be tricky when it’s the victim’s word against yours. To protect your future, it’s recommended you call an attorney at Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc..
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. will take on any kind of family violence case in the Houston area. We are well versed in domestic violence law by our years of practice. Our team can create a strong defense strategy for you. Call (713) 224-5529 today to schedule a case consultation.
Flood Lewis & Associates, Inc. accepts clients throughout the greater Harris County area including Tomball, West University Place, Bellaire and Pasadena.
This article was last updated March 8th, 2019.