Recently, prosecutors have been charging any touching of the neck by a Domestic Violence (DV) suspect as a felony. This is sometimes charged as felony menacing, assault in the second degree or even attempted murder. The idea is that the hands are a deadly weapon when a person is choked.
Choking is very dangerous and can lead to severe injury or even death. But, not always.
The science often does not support these charges. It turns out that it is quite difficult to choke someone to death. It takes much longer than in the movies. Even if a person loses consciousness, they will often fully recover as soon as pressure is released.
Prosecutors are being trained to file strangulation or choking cases as felonies based on the work of Gael B. Strack and the article, How to Improve Your Investigation and Prosecution of Strangulation Cases first written in 1998. The theory is that if a domestic partner chokes his or her victim once, then the chances are s/he will kill that victim within 6 months. If this were true, these prosecutions would be necessary. But, there are no valid statistics to support this theory.
Finally, the most important part of the article and theory is that these cases need proper investigation. Sadly, it seems like prosecutors are very happy to charge people with a felony but the police and prosecution are not investigating the case any better. A proper investigation might separate these cases into serious and no so serious.
If you are charged with a felony Domestic Violence (DV) based on strangulation or choking, you need a lawyer experienced in the science and policy of these cases. Contact me. I will make sure you are not over charged and over prosecuted.
REMEMBER - SELF DEFENSE AND ALL OTHER DEFENSES AVAILABLE IN NORMAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (DV) CASES CAN BE PRESENTED, BUT KNOWLEDGE OF THE SCIENCE CAN REDUCE THE CHARGES PRIOR TO TRIAL OR ENSURE THAT YOU ARE NOT CONVICTED OF A FELONY