Fort Walton Beach Domestic Battery by Strangulation Attorney
Domestic Violence charges are serious enough, but if you are accused of choking someone, or obstructing their breathing, the State can file an enhanced charge called Domestic Battery by Strangulation. While Domestic Violence is normally charged as a misdemeanor, the Strangulation element enhances the charge to a 3rd degree felony offense with a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and a felony conviction that will follow you for the rest of your life.
Pursuant to Fla.Stat. 784.041(2)(a), the State must prove that you impeded the alleged victim’s normal circulation or breathing, against his or her will, thereby creating a risk of great bodily harm.
If you have been charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation in Fort Walton Beach, Flaherty Defense Firm can help. My name is Tim Flaherty. I have practiced criminal defense exclusively since 2001. Call me anytime, day or night, at (850) 243-6097.
What Police Look for in Domestic Battery by Strangulation Cases
When police officers respond to a disturbance, they are trained to examine the scene for evidence that would support the most serious crime they could possibly charge. With that in mind, Fort Walton Beach officers are trained to look for the following when responding to an alleged domestic disturbance:
- Flushing or redness of the alleged victims neck
- Bruising of the alleged victims neck
- Verbal confirmation from the alleged victim that a suspect touched his or her neck
The police also work under the assumption that if they are called to the scene of a domestic dispute, someone is going to jail even if the alleged victim doesn’t want to press charges.
What if the alleged victim doesn’t want to press charges?
As I said above, the police will make an arrest regardless of whether the alleged victim wants to press charges. But what will happen in court?
Under Florida law, the State Attorney can still press forward and prosecute the case under the theory that the State of the Florida is the victim of the crime. In other words, the State will “pick up” the charge and move forward with prosecution.
These cases CAN be won however. At this point, you have only been accused of a crime, not convicted. I will put all of my experience and expertise to work trying to make sure it stays that way.
I will talk to the alleged victim and try to get them to sign a request to drop the charges. I will also work on getting the No Contact Order lifted. If the alleged victim doesn’t want to cooperate, I will prepare the case for trial and attack every aspect of the State’s case, including the alleged victim’s credibility.
It is also possible that your case could be resolved with a plea to a reduced misdemeanor charge, or with Pretrial Diversion, which guarantees a complete dismissal of your charges if you complete the program.
Active Military Members in the Fort Walton Beach Area
If you are an active member of the military, a conviction for Domestic Battery by Strangulation will almost certainly end your career in the military since you will no longer be able to legally possess or own a firearm as a convicted felon. Click for information about military members and Domestic Violence charges.
Consult with a Fort Walton Beach Domestic Battery by Strangulation Attorney
Domestic Battery by Strangulation charges are a traumatic ordeal. However, remember that you still have the opportunity to fight these accusations with the right attorney by your side.
If you have been charged with Domestic Battery by Strangulation in Fort Walton Beach, call Flaherty Defense Firm today at (850) 243-6097 and I will help you through this terrible experience.