The New York Penal code has a specific section dedicated to the strangulation of a person, or the criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. This offense begins as a class A misdemeanor, meaning that the court can decide that time behind bars is necessary for the offender. As with any criminal charges, the court procedures can become lengthy and complicated, which is why it is important to have an attorney on your side to help. Our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys will be with you each step of the way to help you understand the process and get the best possible result in court.
The lower offense of obstruction of breathing or blood circulation is the only one that is a misdemeanor and the offense will apply when a person who is intending to impede the normal circulation of blood or breathing by blocking the nose or mouth of a person or applying pressure to the neck or throat of another person. This lower level of the offense is when there is no significant damage caused to the victim.
The higher offense of strangulation in the second degree is a class D felony. Class D felonies are punishable by up to seven years behind bars and felony convictions can mean loss of other rights. Strangulation is the criminal obstruction of blood circulation or breathing and in doing so causing the loss of consciousness or stupor for any period of time or any other type of physical injury or impairment. The difference between this offense and the lower offense is the inclusion of injury to the victim.
Becoming a class C felony, strangulation that causes a serious physical injury to the victim can result in much harsher charges. This offense is described in such a way to include multiple ways that strangulation can be done. The implementation of other objects to induce the strangulation is included for these charges to apply, as the definition does not state the loss of blood circulation or breathing has to be caused in a specific way. Strangulation can occur multiple ways, by a person using their just their hands or implementing other items such as cloth, plastic, or other materials that will aid in causing the loss of circulation or breathing.
It is important to know that affecting circulation or breathing for the specific purpose of a valid medical or dental procedure does not apply to these offenses. This means that if a doctor has a valid medical purpose for slowing a person’s circulation during a procedure, this type of criminal offense would not apply.
Overall, criminal charges that deal with the criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation are incredibly serious and can lead to significant legal issues if not handled properly. It is important to have an attorney with you who not only can help you understand the process but has already been through the process multiple times with other clients. Call now for a free consultation with one of our experienced New York criminal attorneys.