Strangulation, Choking, Domestic Violence

Strangulation Criminal Charge In Virginia Beach

In 2012, the Virginia General Assembly expanded the criminal charge of strangulation to a stand alone felony charge. Prior to the new law, strangulation was usually charged as an assault charge, such as domestic assault and battery against a spouse. If the act was severe enough, one could have been charged with malicious wounding or even attempted murder. Now under Virginia law, the act of strangulation, regardless of the severity, is a felony offense.

Conviction for strangulation in Virginia requires some proof of both a) impediment to blood or air flow, and b) a wounding or bodily injury. The first element is easiest to prove by testimony of the alleged victim. So long as they testify as to having difficulty breathing, that is sufficient to meet the burden of proof. However, the latter element is a bit more difficult. A “wounding” under Virginia law requires there to be a breakage of the skin, and usually requires the use of a weapon, such as a rope. A “bodily injury” is a more general term that does not require a weapon and can be any manner of injury from the breaking of bones to simple bruising.

Contact Garrett Law Group, PLC in Virginia Beach to speak with a criminal defense lawyer if you or someone in your family has been charged with strangulation, or any other assault, such as domestic violence. (757) 422-4646. Our experienced criminal attorneys are available to speak with you 24/7/365.

Virginia Statutes:

§ 18.2-51.6. Strangulation of another; penalty.
§ 18.2-57.2. Assault and battery against a family or household member; penalty.
§ 18.2-57.3. Persons charged with first offense of assault and battery against a family or household member may be placed on local community-based probation; conditions; education and treatment programs; costs and fees; violations; discharge.