In the state of Florida, Domestic Battery by Strangulation has occurred when the defendant knowingly and intentionally impedes the normal breathing or blood circulation of a family or household member by applying pressure to the neck, or blocking the nose or mouth in a way that causes risk of great bodily harm.
To be proven guilty of Domestic Battery by Strangulation, the prosecutor must prove three things beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant knowingly and intentionally impeded the normal breathing or blood flow of the victim by choking or covering their airways.
- The strangulation created a risk of great bodily harm or death.
- The defendant was a family member, household member, or romantic lover of the victim.
Sarah and Michael, an engaged couple, were living in the same household. One night, Michael comes home to Sarah, who was in bed with another man. Enraged, Michael put his hands around Sarah’s throat, squeezing tight enough to prevent her from breathing. Just before Sarah was about to pass out, Michael let go and fled the house. One day later, Michael was arrested for Domestic Battery by Strangulation.
Under Florida Statute 784.041, Domestic Battery by strangulation is classified as a third-degree felony. Those convicted of this crime will face punishment of up to 5 years imprisonment or probation, and a $5,000 fine.