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.