There are many types of violent crimes in the Commonwealth of Pa. One such offense is strangulation. The act of strangulation occurs when an individual knowingly or intentionally impedes the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person. This can be done in two ways. assault crimes The first by applying pressure to the throat or neck of another individual and the second by blocking the nose and mouth. It is important to note that injury is not an element in this statute. This means that lack of injury is not a defense against this charge. However, the statute does provide an affirmative defense to the charge. The affirmative defense is whether or not the alleged victim consented to the defendant’s actions. Due to the fact that there are varying circumstances surrounding the act of strangulation, the grading of the offense can range from a misdemeanor to a felony. It is a misdemeanor of the second-degree if the only action that took place was the act of strangulation as defined by this statute. It becomes a felony of the second-degree if the act was committed against a family or household member, if it was done by a caretaker on a dependent or, if the act was committed in conjunction with some type of sexual offense.
Violent Crimes such as strangulation becomes a felony of the first-degree under three different circumstances. First is if the alleged victim has some type of protection act against the defendant. intimidation of a witness These include PFA’s and restraining orders. The second circumstance is if some type of instrument was used in the commission of the crime. For instance, a piece of rope was used to wrap around the victim’s neck. Lastly, it is a felony of the first-degree when an individual has been previously convicted of this statute at a second-degree felony level or a similar offense from another jurisdiction. Due to the varying degrees of the charge, it is important to find a good defense attorney who will help you go over the circumstances surrounding the incident and help you build a defense. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Kelly and Conte are experienced in dealing with violent crimes and will help you get the best possible outcome of your case.