Strangulation in Pennsylvania

Let Our Scranton Criminal Defense Attorney Protect Your Rights & Future

On October 2016, PA Governor Tom Wolf signed into law an act which makes strangulation its own criminal offense. First introduced as House Bill 1581, the new law makes strangulation a misdemeanor offense unless specific circumstances are present – such as if the victim is a spouse, romantic partner, or relative. When the crime involves a domestic violence situation, state prosecutors can charge strangulation as a felony.

At the Law Offices of William D. Thompson, we are committed to protecting the rights, reputations, and freedom of all our clients. With 15 years of experience, our Scranton criminal defense lawyer can thoroughly review your case and determine all of your available legal options to either get your charges reduced, or your case dismissed altogether.

Call (570) 666-1068 to discuss your legal options immediately.

Strangulation Definition & Penalties

Under the new law, strangulation is defined as any person knowingly or intentionally impeding the breathing or circulation of blood of another individual – by applying pressure to the neck or throat, or blocking the nose and mouth of the victim. The offense does not require the victim to suffer physical injury, since a strangulation victim normally doesn’t have bruises or any physical signs of injury.

Strangulation is considered a second-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years. In addition, a person who is guilty may be subject to fines of up to $5,000.

On the other hand, strangulation can be charged as a second-degree felony if it is committed:

  • Against a relative or a member of the household
  • In conjunction with sexual violence, stalking, or human trafficking
  • By a caretaker and against someone who is care-dependent

A second-degree felony is punishable a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $25,000.

A person can be charged with a first-degree felony (punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a fine of up to $25,000), if:

  • The offender was subject to an active protection from abuse order, or a sexual violence or intimidation protection order, at the time of the incident
  • The offender used a deadly instrument while committing the crime
  • The offender has a prior conviction of a felony offense under this law or a similar offense in another jurisdiction

Call (570) 666-1068 to Start Your Defense Today

If you were recently charged with strangulation, our Scranton criminal defense attorney is ready to fight tirelessly for you. We can investigate your arrest, collect evidence, use the help of professional experts, and build an effective defense strategy for you. Do not risk going up against these serious charges without experienced and skilled legal representation.

Contact us and schedule a free consultation. Se habla español.

Request a Free Consultation

We are available 24/7. Fill out the following form or call (570) 666-1068. Someone from our firm will return your inquiry shortly.

  • Please enter your name.
  • This isn't a valid email address.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.