Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation

You need not punch another person with a closed fist that opens up a gaping wound to find yourself arrested for and charged with a misdemeanor violent crime such as Third Degree Assault. In fact, whether or not you leave any mark, swelling or scar, if you “attack” another person – man, woman or child – and don’t leave any type of physical injury at all, the police can still arrest you for New York Penal Law 121.11 depending on the allegations and circumstances. NY PL 121.11, Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation, is a crime that not only will land you before a criminal court judge in New York City or a local judge in municipalities elsewhere in the State of New York, but an offense that has a potential punishment and penalty of one year in jail. Irrespective of the sentence, be prepared with your criminal defense lawyer to respond to bail applications and orders of protection requested by the District Attorney especially if the crime you face is one involving domestic violence.

A person is guilty of New York Penal Law section 121.11 when he or she intends to impede the normal breathing of a victim or the circulation of that person’s blood. Additionally, the accused must do this by either (a) applying pressure on the person’s throat or neck or by (b) blocking that person’s nose or mouth. The law does not differentiate between using your hand, a pillow or any other object although, depending on the dangerous instrument used, you could also face equal or more serious charges in addition to Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation in certain circumstances.

One of the critically important elements of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation is the element of intent. If your intent, for example, is to quiet a person to stop that person from yelling because you are in a heated argument, then arguably your intent was not to impeded their breathing when you put your hand on his or her mouth. Moreover, if you were attempting to provide medical attention, such a defense is codified in New York Penal Law Article 121.

Regardless of the accusation, an arrest for PL 121.11 is quite serious and destructive to one’s life even without a conviction. When accused of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation in either the domestic or non-domestic context, don’t let the criminal allegations get too far ahead of you before you identify and implement the best defense. Keep under control, contact your New York criminal lawyer and prepare yourself for what is a frightening, but potentially surmountable, situation.

Call the New York criminal defense attorneys and former New York prosecutors at (212) 312–7129 or contact us online today

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