Asserting Your Rights in Strangulation Charge Cases
At Grace Legal Offices, we understand that facing a strangulation charge can be a daunting experience. The implications of such allegations can have far-reaching consequences on your personal and professional life. We’re here to assure you that, amidst the complexities of this legal battle, you don’t have to stand alone.
Our seasoned defense attorneys are well-versed in handling cases related to strangulation charges in Pennsylvania. With our deep understanding of the legal landscape and our commitment to justice, we work relentlessly to assert the rights of our clients. By scrutinizing every detail of the case, we strive to develop a robust defense strategy tailored to your unique situation.
If you need your legal rights protected, contact us now.
What is the Crime of Strangulation in Pennsylvania?
According to the Pennsylvania Criminal Code, strangulation is defined as intentionally impeding another person’s breathing or circulation by applying pressure on their throat or neck. This act can lead to a misdemeanor charge of strangulation, which carries penalties that may include jail time, fines, and probation.
While a first-time offense is usually charged as a misdemeanor, subsequent offenses and those involving aggravating factors can result in felony charges. In such felony offenses, the penalties become much harsher, including longer prison sentences and hefty fines. What’s more, a strangulation conviction comes with a criminal record that can have lasting effects on your reputation, employment opportunities, and personal relationships.
Grading of Strangulation Charges in Pennsylvania
In Pennsylvania, the grading of strangulation charges depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. These include:
First Degree Felony
Strangulation charges escalate to a First Degree Felony under certain conditions. These include situations where the incident of strangulation takes place while the offender is subject to a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order or any form of protective injunction safeguarding the victim from domestic violence. Similarly, if the offender employs a Prohibited Offensive Weapon during the event of strangulation, or has a prior conviction on record for strangulation, the charges intensify to a First Degree Felony. The severity of this charge is reflected in its punishment, carrying a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
Second Degree Felony
In Pennsylvania, strangulation is considered a significant criminal offense, and depending on the circumstances, it is classified as a Second Degree Felony. This classification can carry a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment. Specific situations that elevate the crime to this level involve instances where the perpetrator and the victim have a familial or household relationship. This category includes spouses or former spouses, individuals living together even if not married, current or former domestic partner, parent-child relationships, blood relatives, adoptive relationships, or co-parents.
Further, the crime is seen as particularly severe when committed by a caretaker against a dependent person who, due to physical or mental disabilities, requires assistance with basic necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, or personal and medical care. A charge can also be heightened if it is associated with a crime of sexual violence, stalking, or human trafficking. These circumstances underline the seriousness of the offense and the legal implications it carries in Pennsylvania.
First Degree Misdemeanor
If the strangulation occurred under other circumstances not subject to the felony enhancement, such as between unrelated persons not living together. This charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.
Defending Against Strangulation Charges
With the severity of strangulation charges in Pennsylvania, it is crucial to seek legal representation from an experienced defense attorney. At Grace Legal Offices, we understand the nuances of these cases and know what it takes to build a strong defense against such allegations. Some of the defenses we may employ to fight strangulation charges include:
Consent: Consent is an affirmative defense to simple assault by strangulation charges. If the alleged victim consented to the strangulation, it can be used as a defense against these charges.
Lack of Intent: To secure a conviction for either simple or aggravated assault by strangulation, the prosecution must prove that the accused had the specific intent to impede the victim’s breathing or circulation. We may argue that there was no intention to harm and the actions were accidental or not intended to cause harm.
Self-defense: In some cases, an individual may have applied pressure on another person’s throat or neck as a form of self-defense. We may argue that the accused acted in response to an imminent threat of harm and did not intend to cause physical injury.
False Accusations: Unfortunately, false accusations of strangulation do happen. Our team will carefully examine the evidence and scrutinize witness testimonies to uncover any discrepancies or inconsistencies that may indicate a lack of credibility.
We first analyze the evidence presented by the prosecution and conduct our own investigation to uncover any inconsistencies or weaknesses in their case. We then work towards discrediting the prosecutor’s arguments and establishing a reasonable doubt regarding your guilt. Our goal is to ensure that our clients’ rights are protected throughout the legal process and that they receive a fair trial.
Why You Need a Strangulation Defense Lawyer
As you can see, the consequences of a strangulation conviction are severe. That’s why it’s crucial to have a skilled defense attorney on your side, fighting for your rights and protecting your future. At Grace Legal Offices, we have a team of experienced criminal defense lawyers who specialize in handling strangulation cases in Pennsylvania. We understand the nuances of these charges and are equipped with the knowledge and resources to build a strong defense on your behalf. Our goal is to help you navigate the legal system and secure the best possible outcome for your case.
Standing By Your Side, Every Step of the Way
At Grace Legal Offices, we are committed to standing by your side through every step of your legal battle. Our team of dedicated attorneys will work tirelessly to defend you against strangulation charges in Pennsylvania, providing personalized legal counsel and robust defense strategies. Don’t face these charges alone – trust our experienced team to advocate for your rights and protect your future. Contact us today for a free consultation.