Most people have no idea how quickly situations can get out of control during a domestic dispute with a loved one until it is too late. During the heat of the moment, no one thinks about the long-term impact a criminal charge can have on their career, their family, or their freedom. In Crestview and throughout Okaloosa County, the police and the prosecutors take a zero-tolerance approach to domestic violence cases.
If there was any evidence to suggest that someone was choked in any way, the misdemeanor domestic violence charge will be elevated to the felony offense of Domestic Battery by Strangulation.
My name is Tim Flaherty. Along with my partner, Brandy Merrifield, our firm defends clients accused of domestic violence. Call our Crestview domestic strangulation lawyers at (850) 398-8098 for a free consultation.
Domestic Strangulation under Florida Law
In order for the State to be able to prove Strangulation, they must prove that the suspect knowingly and intentionally, against the will of the victim, impeded the normal breathing or circulation of the victim, so as to create a risk of, or cause, great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the victim or by blocking the nose or mouth of the victim.
What does this mean? The State doesn’t have to prove that you choked someone until they passed out. They simply have to prove that you restricted someone’s breathing or circulation.
How serious is a Domestic Battery by Strangulation charge in Crestview?
This charge is a third degree felony offense, which means that if you are convicted, you face the possibility of a 5 year prison sentence and a felony conviction on your record. Also, this charge is not eligible for record seal or expungement unless it is dismissed.
What impact will a Domestic Battery by Strangulation charge have one me if I am in the military?
If you are convicted, you will be prohibited under federal law from owning or possessing a weapon. Obviously, this charge is a potential career-killer for anyone in the military, so it vital that you do everything possible to secure a result that protects your career. Refer to our page on Military Arrests for more information specific to military clients. We have a lot of experience defending military clients accused of this charge.
We know what is at stake and take our responsibility to you very seriously.
Is Domestic Strangulation a common charge in Crestview?
Police officers are trained to arrest someone for the most serious offense possible. It is very common to see this charge added in situations where the alleged victim complained that someone put their hands around their neck, or where police officers noticed “redness” on someone’s neck.
Regardless of the eventual outcome, the higher charge guarantees that the suspect will require a higher bond to get out of jail and face a no-contact order with the alleged victim. It also makes it more difficult to convince the prosecutor to dismiss the case when a felony has been charged.
Police officers are also trained to “lead” victims into giving them enough evidence to charge the suspect with more serious crimes. One example that’s applicable to this charge would be asking the alleged victim if the suspect touched them in their neck area.
Why should I hire a private attorney instead of taking the free public defender?
You get what you pay for. If you are thinking about what to do, look at it from this perspective: 3 months from now, when you’re standing in front of the judge awaiting your sentence, will you feel better standing with an attorney that YOU chose to defend you, or will you feel more comfortable with a state-funded public defender with hundreds of cases?
Wouldn’t you rather have an attorney at your side that works for YOU? An attorney who will do whatever it takes to give you the best possible chance of a good outcome? If you answered those questions with a yes, you owe it to yourself and your family to see what your options are.
You have nothing to lose by calling Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 398-8098 for a free consultation. We would be glad to meet with you and explain exactly how we would defend you. After meeting with us, you will have a much better idea of where you stand, and what your options are.
We will also tell you, upfront and in writing, exactly how much your defense will cost. We do not want money to be the main factor in who defends you, so we will work with you on the financial side of this.
Criminal defense is the only area of law we have ever practiced. We bring a strong record of success in serious felony cases in Crestview and throughout Okaloosa County.
Keep one thing in mind: You haven’t been convicted of anything at this point. You have only been accused. It is our job to make sure it stays that way.
If you have been charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation in Crestview, call Flaherty & Merrifield today at (850) 398-8098 for a free, confidential consultation.