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Luzerne County Strangulation Lawyer

Luzerne County Strangulation LawyerLuzerne County Strangulation Lawyer

Strangulation Assault Defense Attorney in Kingston, PA, Defends Clients Accused of Choking and Domestic Violence Crimes in Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and Throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania

If you have been charged with strangulation in PA, let a Luzerne County strangulation lawyer at Muckler Law, LLC, prepare your defense. We’ll draw upon our 15+ years of experience defending the accused, along with founder and lead attorney Matthew T. Muckler’s background as an Assistant District Attorney in Luzerne County, to develop the most robust defense possible for your case.

To get started with a free, confidential consultation, contact us today.

What to Do When You’re Facing Strangulation Charges in Luzerne County, PA

It’s frightening to find out that you have been criminally charged with strangulation. Facing the legal process can be intimidating. How do you navigate the legal proceedings? How do you stand up for yourself when you’ve been accused of a violent assault crime? What could happen if you get convicted?

When you are arrested for strangulation or otherwise notified that you are being criminally charged, you should do your best to remain calm and silent, as you have the legal right to do. Cooperate with law enforcement, but inform them that you wish to remain silent until you speak to your attorney. Your next step should be to retain a knowledgeable Pennsylvania assault lawyer to represent and advise you.

Areas Our Luzerne County Strangulation Lawyer Serves

From our office location on Market Street in Kingston, Muckler Law, LLC, serves the whole of Luzerne County, including:

People accused of strangulation and other violent crimes all over Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Columbia County, and elsewhere in Northeastern Pennsylvania turn to us for skilled criminal defense representation.

What Is a Strangulation Charge?

Section 18 Pa. C.S.A.2718 under Pennsylvania law establishes strangulation as a criminal offense. The legal definition of strangulation in PA is impeding a person’s breathing or blood circulation knowingly or intentionally by either applying pressure to the victim’s neck or throat or blocking their nose and mouth.

This broad definition may encompass strangulation or choking performed in any manner, including using one or both hands, objects wrapped around the alleged victim’s neck, a chokehold or headlock, or stepping on the victim’s throat.

No Physical Injury Required

Notably missing from the definition of strangulation as a crime under PA law is injury. In fact, the law specifies that a physical injury arising out of the alleged strangulation is not an element required for charging or convicting someone of this crime. That means you can’t defend against this charge simply by showing that the victim didn’t suffer a physical injury.

Is Strangulation a Felony or Misdemeanor in Pennsylvania?

Depending on the circumstances, a strangulation charge against you may be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

In general, PA law considers strangulation a second-degree misdemeanor unless the offense meets certain criteria.

A strangulation offense is charged as a more serious second-degree felony if it involves one of the following circumstances:

  • The strangulation of one family member or household member by another (a domestic violence strangulation charge)
  • The strangulation of a care-dependent person by their caretaker
  • Strangulation occurring in conjunction with sexual violence, stalking, or human trafficking crimes

The most serious strangulation offenses, charged as first-degree felonies, involve the following circumstances:

  • Strangulation committed by a perpetrator against whom the victim has filed an active protection from abuse order or a sexual violence or intimidation protection order
  • The use of an instrument of crime, including any item made or specially adapted for such use or possessed and used for criminal purposes, in the commission of the strangulation offense
  • One or more prior convictions of the defendant on charges of strangulation or a similar offense

Sentences for Strangulation Offenses in PA

The penalties for a conviction on strangulation charges in Pennsylvania vary depending on the severity of the charges against you.

Convictions of strangulation second-degree misdemeanor charges may lead to up to two years of jail time, as well as fines as high as $5,000.

For domestic violence strangulation charges and other second-degree felony charges, the sentences you could face include a prison term of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $25,000.

The penalties for a strangulation first-degree felony charge include a potential prison sentence that could be as long as 20 years, along with a fine of up to $25,000.

How to Beat a Strangulation Charge

Fighting strangulation charges in PA isn’t easy, especially since no physical injury is necessary for a conviction. However, there are several possible avenues your strangulation assault defense attorney in Kingston, PA, might explore.

Defenses Against a Strangulation Charge in PA

How might a skilled attorney defend you in legal proceedings arising out of strangulation charges? Each case is unique, and your lawyer should tailor your defense to the specifics of your situation. Some examples of defenses that may prove effective when charged with strangulation include the following.

False Accusations

If the argument in your defense is that you didn’t strangle the alleged victim, your defense strategy might hinge on pointing out weaknesses in the prosecution’s case against you and presenting evidence of your innocence.

This might be the case if the accusation against you was a complete fabrication or exaggeration of events due to a misunderstanding or an outright lie. It might also apply if you were wrongly identified as the perpetrator by a victim who was strangled by someone else.

It’s the prosecution’s job to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a conviction, but your Luzerne County strangulation lawyer should be proactive in highlighting the ways the prosecutor’s case falls short of doing so. Providing evidence in your favor, such as an alibi, is one of the ways your attorney may be able to accomplish this.

Lack of Intent

The legal definition of a strangulation crime in Pennsylvania establishes that the perpetrator must “knowingly or intentionally” block the victim’s breath or impede their blood circulation. If your strangling of the alleged victim did occur but was accidental or occurred out of a misunderstanding, your lack of intent to strangle the victim may be used to defend you against the charges.

Consent of the Alleged Victim

You might also argue that the act of strangling occurred but was consensual and, as such, does not constitute a crime. Section 18 Pa. C.S.A.2718(c) of Pennsylvania law, the same statute that defines the crime of strangulation, also provides for the affirmative defense that the victim consented to the act.

Self-Defense or Defense of Someone Else

In some instances, a person may strangle an attacker to stop the assault or to break free from their assailant’s grasp. You may be able to argue that your actions were justified for reasons of defense if you put someone in a chokehold or otherwise strangled them to protect yourself or another person to whom they posed an immediate danger of physical harm.

Insufficient or Inadmissible Evidence

Another potential defense in a strangulation case is arguing that the evidence against you is insufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which is what’s required for a criminal conviction. This may mean exposing flaws, unsupported assumptions, and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case. It may also mean arguing that certain evidence is inadmissible due to failures to obtain it through proper procedures.

Representation by a Skilled Luzerne County Strangulation Lawyer

A knowledgeable Luzerne County strangulation lawyer is an asset to any defense you might pursue against charges of violent crimes. Retaining professional legal representation means you have an experienced advocate searching for evidence in your favor and fighting to protect and preserve your legal rights.

At Muckler Law, LLC, we work tirelessly to develop strong defenses on behalf of the clients we represent and guide them through all of the criminal proceedings they must face and the legal options that may be available to them.

Contact a Luzerne County Strangulation Lawyer at Muckler Law, LLC, Today for a Free Consultation

With a Luzerne County strangulation and suffocation attorney fighting for you, you’re prepared to take the right steps to deal with a difficult legal situation. You won’t be facing a serious strangulation charge alone.

For help from an assault by strangulation defense attorney in Kingston, PA, contact Muckler Law, LLC, online or call 570-908-4069 today.

Strangulation Charges Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

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