Westport Second-Degree Strangulation Lawyer
What is Strangulation in Westport CT?
Connecticut law defines three degrees of strangulation. The least serious is a misdemeanor while the other two are felonies. All three involve situations where one individual restrains another around the neck or throat or blocks their nose or mouth and either constricts their breathing or cuts off their circulation.
When is Strangulation Charged as a Felony?
When a person performs the actions listed above with the intent to restrict the flow of air or blood, then the offense is treated as felony strangulation. Certain situations can aggravate the crime so that it will be treated as first-degree strangulation, although any top Westport strangulation lawyer will try to show the prosecutor that any aggravating factors do not rise to a level justifying an increase in the severity of the offense.
Is Intent an Element of a Second-Degree Strangulation Charge?
Yes. The only difference between strangulation in the second degree, which is a felony, and strangulation in the third degree, which is a misdemeanor, is the element of intent. Before someone may be convicted of second-degree strangulation, the prosecution must prove that they intended to restrict the breathing or blood flow of another person. If this result occurred by accident or even reckless action, then the act may be treated as a lesser offense.
Accordingly, a Westport strangulation lawyer may look for evidence to demonstrate that the accused person lacked the requisite intent. Evidence regarding intent may involve witness statements, video footage, and the parties’ testimony about what was said before, during, and after an event.
What are the Penalties for Second-Degree Strangulation?
Under Connecticut law, strangulation in the second degree is treated as a Class D felony, and is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Additionally, a conviction will result in a permanent criminal record which could interfere with future employment opportunities. In domestic violence situations, an accused person could also be subject to a protective order.
Work with a Westport Second-Degree Strangulation Attorney
Felony charges require a strong defense strategy. If you are facing second-degree strangulation charges, it is wise to act promptly to locate and secure evidence that could help your defense. In many cases, the best evidence is only available for a short time after an incident.
A Westport second-degree strangulation lawyer could assist with collecting and preserving evidence and advocate on your behalf in negotiations as well as in formal court proceedings. To discuss your options with a knowledgeable strangulation defense lawyer, call Mark Sherman Law and schedule a consultation.