Strangulation and Related Offenses: NY Penal Law Article 121

In the realm of New York violent crimes, most New York criminal lawyers, as well as their clients, find themselves dealing with criminal offenses involving Assault, Weapon Possession and even Robbery when an allegation is legally defined as a violent crime pursuant to New York Penal Law 70.02. While any crime deemed a “violent offense” mandates a determinate sentence of incarceration, there is a set of crimes found in Article 121 of the New York Penal Law that are equally devastating to the offenses above in terms of their consequences to an accused if he or she pleads guilty or is convicted after trial. These crimes, New York Penal Law sections 121.11, 121.12 and 121.13, are collectively known as Strangulation and Related Offenses. More important than their respective titles and names, recognize that an arrest for any one of these offenses in New York City or the numerous counties making up the Hudson Valley, will be met with a harsh response from prosecutors, judges and the police.

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 Strangulation crimes are classified as either “D” or “C” felonies. As a result, if you are convicted of Penal Law 121.11 you would face up to a maximum of one year in jail in the Dutchess County Jail, Rikers Island or Rockland County Jail. A conviction for either two Strangulation crimes, PL 121.13 and PL 121.13, however, is quite more severe. With mandatory minimums, the District Attorney prosecuting your case post-indictment can recommend that your presiding judge sentence you to as long 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 Kings County or New York County Criminal Court or you face the same fate in a Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess or Rockland municipality, the elements of and burden to prove these crimes remain the same even if some procedures may vary. For example, in the event the crime or allegation involves a domestic partner or family member, know that New York 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 for 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 of 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 brought alongside Assault offenses found in Article 120 of the New York Penal Law. After all, it is certainly conceivable, whether ultimately true or not, that your criminal lawyer is tasked with defending you against multiple crimes for threatening, striking and strangling the complainant.

If the prospect of spending a year in jail or two, five, seven, ten 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 pause, 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 rights and cannot be stripped of your ability to defend yourself. 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, career, legal status in the United States, and future. Let the New York criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC’s advocacy, knowledge and experience guide you to the best possible resolution to what is likely 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

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