Strangulation in the First Degree
The most serious of all the statutes relating to Strangulation and Related Offenses, Strangulation in the First Degree is a “C” felony punishable by up to fifteen years in state prison.
Similar to Strangulation in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law section 121.13 dictates that if you perpetrate the crime of Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation by, for example, applying pressure to a person’s throat or neck or by obstructing that person’s nose or mouth with the intent to impeded their normal breathing or blood flow and your actions result in serious physical injury to the other person, then you are guilty of this crime.
One of the major differences between Strangulation in the First Degree and the lesser Second Degree offense is that the injury sustained by the complainant needs to go beyond physical injury and be serious physical injury. In this situation, a split lip or deep “angry” bruise would not be enough. Instead the injury must be of the type that causes impairment to the complainant’s health, disfigurement or similar trauma. Just as with the other related offenses, it is imperative to vet the facts, evidence and nature of the alleged injury to determine whether the prosecution can establish all of the elements of the crime and what defense you should consider implementing.
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