Domestic Violence by Strangulation
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One of the major concerns by the legislature in the recent past are household members, or family members, who attack one another by putting their hands around the other’s neck. Unfortunately, this offense is all too common and the legislature has deemed situations like this to be a felony as opposed to misdemeanor. This statute is found in Florida Statutes 784.041(2)(a) and the elements of the offense are outlined in Florida Standard Jury Instructions Section 8.5(a).
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What is Domestic Violence by Strangulation?
To prove the crime of Domestic Battery by Strangulation, the State must prove three elements. In order to be convicted, the following elements must be proven beyond every reasonable doubt.
The accused impeded the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the alleged victim against the victim’s will by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the alleged victim, or by blocking the nose or mouth of alleged victim. The action must have been done knowingly and intentionally.
In so doing, the accused created a risk of great bodily harm, or caused great bodily harm to the alleged victim.
The accused was a family or household member of the alleged victim or was involved in a dating relationship with alleged victim.
“Family or household member” means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as if a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. With the exception of persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same single dwelling unit.
“Dating relationship” means a continuing and significant relationship of a romantic or intimate nature.
As a former prosecutor, Matt Thompson dealt with numerous victims who were the victims of domestic violence by strangulation. In training to deal with the victims, Attorney Matt Thompson attended a class for first responders, nurses, victim’s advocates, and police officers, that focused on what to look for in victims of Domestic Violence by Strangulation. This class was put on by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Department, and in learning how to prosecute valid claims of this nature, Matt Thompson now uses the skills he learned in handling these cases to defend these claims against his clients.
The penalties for a Domestic Violence by Strangulation include those faced in a plain Domestic Violence charge. In many domestic violence cases, at least one party is left temporarily without a home, or might be prevented from speaking with to their spouse, partner, or children. The State might insist that you take a treatment class called the Domestic Violence Intervention program, or another similar program. Treatment programs such as these can be costly, and typically run for several weeks (up to 26) and require homework assignments. In addition, because Domestic Violence by Strangulation is a felony, the State is less willing to negotiate. The maximum sentence for this charge five years of imprisonment, five years of probation, and a fine of $5,000.
Client was texting a friend when her significant other tried to grab for her phone. When the client tried to pull away, the victim claimed that he was battered and the client was arrested and brought before DCF due a child being in the house. Attorney Matt Thompson wrote a letter to the State explaining the discrepancy in evidence and claimed that the client was in fact moving away from the victim and did not intentionally try to hit the victim. All charges against the client were dismissed.
Sale and Possession of Heroin
Defendant entered a treatment facility while case was pending. Attorney Thompson provided progress reports of all of her progress during her stay to show improvement. State agreed to amend all charges to simple possession and the Defendant was sentenced into Drug Court.
Aggravated Assault with a Firearm
Client was accused of shooting a shotgun over the head of two minors. Attorney Thompson did a public records request to discover that officers reported to the scene of the crime the night of the incident and spoke to the victims on the evening the alleged crime occurred and believed the victims to be intoxicated and unreliable. Attorney Thompson conducted depositions of the officers and ultimately all charges were reduced to a misdemeanor and no incarceration.
Grand Theft, Fleeing, Possession of a Fictitious Driver’s License
Attorney Matt Thompson, through depositions and litigation was able to show that officers did not act according to the warrant by picking up the client immediately upon sight. The charge of Fleeing or Attempting to Elude Law Enforcement, which carries a mandatory felony conviction, was dismissed by the State and the client was offered probation and no felony conviction.
Sexual Battery & Domestic Battery
Mr. Thompson took depositions of the victim showing that the victim was not truthful with police when she provided her statement as to what happened. Confronted victim with social media posts, bank records, and telephone records to show that she was not in the places that she stated she was during the time the alleged crime took place. Case 1 was dismissed and the Defendant pled to Case 2 and received two (2) years of prison and credit for fifteen (15) months in prison.
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