What is Assault Family – Choking

Assault is normally a misdemeanor, but there are times when it can be enhanced to a felony. If you are being charged with assault against a family member and you are accused of choking that person, it can be enhanced to a third-degree felony. If you have a previous family violence conviction, it becomes a second-degree felony.

What Does the Evidence Usually Look Like

Whether or not they decide to enhance your case is going to depend on the officer and the prosecutor. I’ve seen a lot of cases where a victim accuses someone of choking them, but the case is still filed as a misdemeanor assault. Officers will often ask some follow up questions. Did you blackout? Were you able to talk? How long was it for? These questions aren’t required by the law, but ultimately if the case goes to trial, the state is going to have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did impede their breathing or circulation.  

Police will often use photos with an alternative light source. They will take pictures using a UV light or black light to try and see bruising on the neck that may not yet be visible with just our eyes. They can use these photos to make a decision about how to charge a case and ultimately prove to a jury that someone was choked. This is the main type of evidence that may be used in a choking case that is different than other types of assault cases.

Here’s the Good News

These cases can still be hard for the state to prove at trial. Like other types of family violence cases, there’s not usually much evidence. In most cases there aren’t any other witnesses other than the victim and the defendant. Victims are often significant others who are harder to convince to come in and testify. Officers also get there after everything has calmed down. It’s not always clear what exactly happened and whether someone was acting in self-defense.

Here’s the Bad News

If you’re convicted of assault – choking or if you take a plea on this case, the judge is going to make a finding that you committed an act of family violence. You’ll never be able to get this removed from your record and the judge may prevent you from having contact with the victim, even if you’re married. There’s also the possibility that you could be sent to prison. Even if you initially get probation, you could be sentenced to prison if you violate any of the terms of your probation.

What to Do If You’re Charged With Assault – Choking

If you’re being charged with choking someone, you’re probably worried and not sure what to expect in your case. It’s important to contact an attorney who can discuss your case with you and let you know what to expect. We have a system that has proven very effective in getting good results in family violence cases. These are the types of cases that we focus on. We will also let you know what to expect and answer any questions that you have. Being charged with a crime is stressful enough. Having an attorney who doesn’t return your phone calls and isn’t letting you know what to expect makes everything more stressful than it has to be.

Schedule a free strategy session with us today. We’ll discuss your case with you and get an understanding of your situation to help determine what’s important to you and how this may affect your life. You’ll also walk away with a plan of action on what you can do to make it more likely that you get a good result on your case. We look forward to helping you out.

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Sean Henricksen

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