Domestic Battery by Strangulation in Florida

In Florida, the crime of Domestic Battery by Strangulation is defined as knowingly and intentionally impeding the normal breathing or blood circulation of a family member, household member, or significant other by applying pressure on the throat or neck, or by blocking the nose or mouth, in a manner that creates a risk of, or actually causes, great bodily harm. [1]

Domestic Battery by Strangulation is a politically charged topic in Florida and is prosecuted aggressively - usually by specially trained prosecutors.

Importantly, even though Domestic Battery by Strangulation cases are often the result of false accusations by spiteful partners, do not attempt to resolve a Domestic Battery by Strangulation case without an experienced attorney, because a conviction results in:

  • Mandatory Jail Time if injuries ocurred;
  • Permanent Criminal Record;
  • Treated as a Deportable Offense for Immigration Purposes;
  • Ineligible for Sealing or Expungement; and
  • Mandatory Counseling.

Penalties for Domestic Battery by Strangulation

In Florida, the crime of Domestic Battery by Strangulation is classified as a Third Degree Felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.

Domestic Battery by Strangulation is assigned a Level 6 offense severity ranking under Florida's Criminal Punishment Code and a judge may sentence a person convicted of Domestic Battery by Strangulation to probation, but may also impose a sentence up to the statutory maximum of five years in prison.

Collateral Consequences

In addition to the statutory penalties applicable to any criminal offense, Domestic Battery by Strangulation charges also carry the following collateral consequences if convicted.

  • Mandatory completion of 29 Week Batterers Intervention Program;
  • Ineligible to ever be Sealed or Expunged from criminal record;
  • Forfeiture of right to have a gun while on probation, even for a misdemeanor; and
  • Revocation of any concealed weapons permit.

Defenses to Domestic Battery by Strangulation

A defendant can always pursue the pretrial defenses and trial defenses that are available in every criminal case.

However, defending Domestic Battery by Strangulation cases require a more nuanced approach, because deeper issues usually caused the altercation and allegations in the first place. These include:

  • Alcohol, Drug, or Substance Abuse,
  • Child Custody Disputes,
  • Injunctions Proceedings,
  • Mental Health Issues
  • Pending Divorce, or
  • Spiteful Family Members.

With these things in mind, the best way to approach a Domestic Battery by Strangulation case is to develop a plan that will not only result in the dismissal of the case, but also bring harmony between you and the accuser.

Treatment and Counseling

One of the first things I do when hired is recommend counseling pending resolution of the case.

This allows you to address underlying issues that caused the altercation and develop positive habits that will help you avoid future conflicts.

I find this important because if the underlying issues are not addressed, many people find themselves right back at square one, which is something that should be avoided.

Victim Outreach

The next thing I do is reach out to the accuser. Many times, I find the accuser regrets what has been set in motion and wishes to stop things before they spiral out of control.

If this is true, I may be able to direct them towards the appropriate parties to expedite the dismissal of the case.

Nevertheless, just because the accuser wants to "drop the charges," under Florida law the victim cannot drop charges, only the State Attorney can.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby

If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Domestic Battery by Strangulation in Central Florida or the Greater Orlando area, contact Criminal Defense Lawyer today.

The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.


  1. Florida Statute 784.041(2)