Westport Strangulation Lawyer
Effectively contesting allegations of strangulation in criminal court can be a deceptively complex process. With support from a knowledgeable Westport strangulation lawyer, you could more effectively defend your future prospects and mitigate the consequences you might face in criminal court, family court, and your personal and professional life.
Strangulation as a Criminal Offense in Westport
Strangulation—or suffocation as it is sometimes called—is a somewhat unique criminal offense that is distinguishable from other forms of physical assault. In addition to being a serious felony offense in many situations, strangulation is also one of several criminal offenses commonly classified as a “domestic violence” offense when the allegedly strangled individual is a household or family member of the perpetrator.
The Connecticut Penal Code defines three “degrees” of strangulation offenses. The least severe variant of this offense is Strangulation or Suffocation in the Third Degree, defined under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-64cc as a class A misdemeanor entailing someone recklessly impairing another person’s ability to breathe or blood circulation by either restraining them by the neck or throat or obstructing their nose or mouth.
As per C.G.S. §53a-64bb, Second-Degree Strangulation—a class D felony—involves the same basic behaviors and physical effects involved in the Third-Degree version of this offense, but the perpetrator must have intentionally engaged in said behavior with the express intent of impeding one’s ability to breathe or restricting their blood flow. Finally, any person who commits Second-Degree strangulation (1) after having been convicted of the same offense at least once before, (2) while using or attempting to use a “dangerous instrument,” or (3) in a way which directly results in the targeted person sustaining serious physical injury has committed First-Degree Strangulation–a class C felony–under C.G.S. §53a-64aa.
Based on what degree a particular offense falls under, a person convicted of criminal strangulation may face sanctions ranging from a year at most in county jail to a maximum ten-year prison term, as well as financial fines ranging from $2,000 to $10,000. A Westport strangulation attorney could provide more specific information during a private initial meeting about what penalties a particular charge may result in.
Consequences of Strangulating a Domestic Partner
Domestic violence is not a distinct criminal offense under the Connecticut Penal Code, and a separate offense being designated as domestic violence does not allow for enhanced criminal penalties in the event of a conviction. That said, a domestic violence classification can still be a very serious matter in cases like this, as it could open a defendant up to family court proceedings and/or a Department of Children and Families (“DCF”) investigation.
At minimum, this will lead to an imposition of a protective order for the duration of the ensuing criminal case. In more serious situations, a conviction may lead to the creation of a standing criminal protective order and a DCF investigation which concludes that a defendant poses a risk of physical or emotional harm to their children, which may result in that defendant losing custody or visitation rights. Support from a skilled lawyer can be especially important to effectively pursuing a positive result from this kind of strangulation case in Westport.
Speak with a Westport Strangulation Attorney About Legal Options
Strangulation offenses in Connecticut can vary significantly and have very different outcomes depending on the circumstances, which means there is no single best way to handle charges of this nature as a defendant. Your best move in this situation is almost always to seek advice and representation from a Westport strangulation lawyer with experience handling similar cases effectively in the past.
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