Strangulation and Related Offenses
In the realm of New York violent crimes, most New York criminal lawyers, as well as their clients, concentrate on offenses involving Assault, Weapon Possession and even Robbery. Despite this, there is a set of crimes established under Article 121 of the New York Penal Law that are equally devastating in terms of their consequences as a victim and a defendant. These crimes (New York Penal Law section 121.11, 121.12 and 121.13) are collectively known as Strangulation and Related Offenses and prosecutors, judges and the police, irrespective of the city or county of arrest, take these charges, indictments and trials seriously.
- Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation (NY PL 121.11)
- Strangulation in the Second Degree (NY PL 121.12)
- Strangulation in the First Degree (NY PL 121.13)
Depending on whether you are charged with misdemeanor Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or felony Strangulation, the crimes range in their severity and potential punishment. The lowest of these offenses are prosecuted as “A” misdemeanors while both of the two Strangulation crimes are classified as either “D” or “C” felonies. As a result, if you are convicted of Penal Law 121.11you would face up to a maximum of one year in jail. A conviction for either two Strangulation crimes, PL 121.13 and PL 121.13, whether by voluntary plea or post-trial conviction, has more severe consequences including as much as seven or fifteen years in state prison respectively.
Whether you were arrested by the NYPD in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx or Queens) and you are awaiting your arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court or you face the same fate in a Westchester or Rockland county municipality, there are likely certain procedures and processes that may vary, but the critical and practical elements of these crimes will not differ. For example, in the event the crime or allegation involves a domestic partner or family member, know that domestic violence crimes receive heightened attention and similarly increased punishment. Further, if you and your accuser are known to one another, even if not intimately for domestic violence purposes, the prosecution will ask and a judge will grant an order of protection. This restraining order will either prevent any contact between the parties or limit the types of interactions. Should you violate the terms of the order you will be subject to a new offense of Criminal Contempt even if you are ultimately exonerated from the original arrest charges.
It is important to note that a charge involving Strangulation and Related Offenses likely will not stand alone. While each case is unique, it would not be atypical to see these crimes charged alongside such crimes as the Assault offenses found in Article 120 of the New York Penal Law. After all, it is certain conceivable, whether ultimately true or not, that you could menace and threaten someone, strike that person with your fists and strangle him or her.
If the prospect of spending a year in jail or two, five, seven or more years in prison isn’t frightening enough and the potential to be removed from your home with an order of protection as your criminal case slowly progresses doesn’t give you great paus, remember that an accusation is far from a conviction. While you must take the initiative, and retain the right criminal defense lawyer to formulate your strongest defense, you have answers, rights and the ability to defend yourself. In fact, while seldom used, there is a statutory defense that may be applicable in your particular case. It is an affirmative defense if one conducts themselves in a manner that violates the statutes, but does so for a valid medical or dental purpose. No, it may not serve you much good to argue you were rendering medical attention if you also brandished a switchblade knife, but it should highlight the importance of thinking out of the box and availing yourself through evidence, facts, mitigation and law the strongest defense. Simply, a failure to do so will leave you with a lifetime criminal record for an ugly violent crime while facing both incarceration and an order of protection hanging over your head for years to come.
Be smart. Understand the laws involving and application of Strangulation and Related Offenses. Protect your rights and your future. Let advocacy, knowledge and experience guide you to the best possible resolution to what likely is one of the worst experiences of your life.
Call the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312–7129 or contact us online today