Domestic Strangulation is a Serious Form of Domestic Violence
A person charged with domestic strangulation faces an uphill battle in court. It takes a strong, well-respected lawyer to level the playing field.
It is possible to avoid prison on a domestic strangulation charge.
Domestic violence cases frequently involve allegations of strangulation or suffocation. Because of the serious nature of these allegations, Michigan law provides for a maximum possible prison sentence of 10 years on these cases and up to 5 years of probation. A Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer may be able to help you avoid jail, prison, and maybe even a felony domestic strangulation charge.
Michigan Domestic Strangulation Law
Michigan law states that any person who assaults another person by strangulation or suffocation is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years or a fine of up to $5,000. The law defines “strangulation or suffocation” as “intentionally impeding normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of another person.” Unfortunately, many false allegations of domestic assault result in felony domestic strangulation charges.
An injury is Not Necessary for a Domestic Strangulation Conviction
Defendants frequently cite a lack of injury as a defense to domestic strangulation charges. Under the law, a complainant doesn’t need to suffer any actual injury for the State to charge a person with assault by strangulation. Furthermore, an aggressor’s intent – which must be proven for a defendant to be found guilty – may be inferred simply from the use of physical violence.
What must a prosecutor prove to get a conviction on felony domestic strangulation charges?
Every crime in Michigan is made up of parts called elements. The elements of Domestic Strangulation in Michigan are as follows:
(1) The defendant is charged with the crime of assault by strangulation or suffocation. To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(2) First, the defendant committed a battery on the complainant. A battery is a forceful, violent, or offensive touching of another person or something closely connected with that other person.
(3) Second, that the touching must have been intended by the defendant, that is, not accidental, and it must have been against the complainant’s will. It does not matter whether the touching caused an injury.
(4) Third, the battery was committed by strangulation or suffocation. Strangulation or suffocation means intentionally impeding the normal circulation of the blood or breathing by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth.
If the prosecutor cannot prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of felony domestic strangulation charges, the defendant must be found not guilty.
How can an experienced and effective lawyer help?
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully defending domestic violence charges, including assault by strangulation or suffocation. Defenses include innocence, mistake, accident, insanity, false allegation, identity, and much more. Even in those cases where the defendant made a terrible mistake and put their hands on another person, a respected lawyer can frequently work with the prosecutor to get a plea to a reduced charge or get an agreement from a judge for no jail or prison.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.