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Domestic Battery by Strangulation

Domestic battery by strangulation is a serious felony in the State of Florida.  It is scored on the “scoresheet”, Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code, as a level 6 offense.  This means that, depending on the individual’s criminal history, they may be at risk of “scoring out to prison.” 


In Domestic Battery by Strangulation cases it is best to have an attorney fighting for you as soon as possible


Police often ignore evidence favorable to the accused

It is urgent that an attorney begin working on the case as soon as possible.  A thorough investigation may uncover evidence that the police (either purposely or inadvertently) failed to gather.  

Such evidence often includes witnesses favorable to the defense, surveillance camera footage helpful to the defense, and defensive bruising or injuries that can be photographed and documented in a proper manner so that they can later be used in court.


Prosecutors like to ask for jail for these cases

Domestic battery by strangulation is a third-degree felony with a maximum punishment of 5 years prison.  Prosecutors tend to make heavy-handed offers in domestic battery by strangulation cases as they perceive the defendant as a danger to the community.  

If you have a “bad” case

What if my case can’t be beat?  Sometimes the State has strong evidence of guilt and going to trial is not a good idea.  What can be done then?

Part of the art of criminal defense is thinking creatively and coming up with a “defense game plan.”  In the event that the case cannot be won in trial, a good attorney will develop a tailored plan that will involve uncovering mitigation.  


It is about “Bargaining Power”

Mitigation, in a legal context, is information regarding the defendant that might result in reduced charges or a lesser sentence.  Such a defense game plan may include attending counseling, attending anger management classes, getting character letters, paying restitution, and completing community service.  If a defense game plan is properly executed, it can give the defense attorney “bargaining power” when negotiating and can result in you getting the best offer possible.

Defenses to Domestic Battery by Strangulation


  • Normal breathing or circulation was not impeded 

It is not enough that the accused place their hands on the alleged victim’s neck, they must do so in a manner that normal breathing or blood circulation is impeded.


  • Self Defense

If one is in fear of imminent bodily harm, they have a right to defend themselves—even with violence.  Imminent, in this context, essentially means immediate physical danger. Sometimes success of a self-defense case will turn on whether the danger the defendant was facing was actually imminent.


  • Defense of Others 

A person has the legal right to defend another person if the other person is at risk of imminent bodily harm.


  • Mutual Combat 

When two people mutually decide to square off and fight each other, a battery is not committed.  Essentially, by agreeing to fight, the individuals are consenting to bodily contact.


  • An Angry and Vindictive Victim 

An angry or spited alleged victim, such as an ex, has every reason to lie to law enforcement and concoct a story for revenge.  In these cases, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as possible so that the attorney can launch an investigation (find additional witnesses, find surveillance video footage, photograph defensive injuries, etc.).  The more time that goes by, the more chance that it will be difficult, if not impossible, to gather witnesses and evidence.


  • Lack of Injuries and/or Inadequate Evidence 

The evidence that the state has is simply not enough to prove a case beyond a reasonable doubt or defense evidence presented to the prosecutor contradicts law enforcement’s version of event.


  • An Unwilling Victim 

Prosecutors are much less likely to want to proceed with a case if the victim is not on their side.  A prosecutor ultimately has to prove a case to a jury. It is much easier for them to do this if they have a cooperating victim. 

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