Milford Strangulation Lawyer
A Milford strangulation lawyer can help collect and preserve evidence to fight your charges and work toward a positive outcome. Additionally, a criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights and help prevent mistakes that could jeopardize your case.
How Does a State of Mind Affect a Case?
The severity of the strangulation or suffocation offense depends in large part on the state of mind of the person taking action. If someone acts with a specific intent to restrict another person’s ability to breathe or to impair blood flow, then the offense can be treated as felony strangulation.
By contrast, if someone acts “recklessly,” instead of intentionally, then the offense can be treated as strangulation or suffocation in the third degree under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-64cc. Third-degree strangulation is a Class A misdemeanor. A Milford strangulation lawyer can show that you had no intent to affect breathing or circulation but acted negligently or recklessly and therefore should be charged with the lower level crime.
What’s The Difference Between Strangulation and Suffocation?
Connecticut statutes define three versions of strangulation and suffocation. The offenses described as first, second, and third-degree strangulation or suffocation share certain elements in common.
Strangulation or suffocation involves restraining another person by the neck or throat or obstructing another person’s nose or mouth. Under C.G.S. §§53a-64bb and 53a-64cc, the action must “impede the ability of such other person to breathe or restrict blood circulation of such other person,” but it does not need to cause lasting injury.
It may be possible for a strangulation lawyer in Milford to demonstrate that the actions complained of did not in fact impair breathing or blood flow and therefore should be not be treated as strangulation or suffocation.
When Does Strangulation Become a Felony?
Intentionally acting to restrict someone’s circulation or breathing causes strangulation to be charged as strangulation in the first or second degree. If someone intentionally strangles or suffocates another and an aggravating factor is present, then the offense can be treated as first-degree strangulation. The aggravating factors include:
- Use of a dangerous instrument
- Attempted use of a dangerous instrument
- Serious physical injuries resulting from the action
- Prior conviction for felony strangulation or suffocation
In situations without these aggravating factors, we often see charges of second-degree strangulation. A Milford strangulation lawyer can look for evidence to refute your charges, such as video footage, and take action to preserve this evidence for use in pre-trial negotiations or at trial.
What Are the Penalties for Strangulation?
Strangulation and suffocation in the third degree, which involve reckless restraint or covering of the nose or mouth rather than intentional action, is a misdemeanor, but it is it the most serious type of misdemeanor, “Class A”. Those convicted may be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.
Strangulation in the second degree is a Class D felony punishable by as much as five years of imprisonment and a fine as high as $5,000.
The potential penalties are twice as high for strangulation and suffocation in the first degree. Those convicted of this Class C felony face incarceration for up to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000.
In any circumstance, a Milford strangulation lawyer can seek alternative penalties and help you mitigate a conviction in court where possible.
Contact a Milford Strangulation Attorney
For many people in Milford, the unofficial consequences of a conviction for strangulation can cause more long-term harm than the official penalties. A criminal conviction is public and visible to anyone conducting a search. Criminal records can interfere with opportunities for employment, housing, and other key components in your life.
Even if criminal charges have not yet been filed, it can be beneficial to consult a knowledgeable Milford strangulation lawyer. An attorney can prepare you for what comes next and fight to protect your rights and your future. Call Mark Sherman Law now to learn more with an initial consultation.