In Texas, Assault by Choking is a Felony


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In Texas, Assault by Choking is a Felony

The State of Texas naturally takes domestic violence charges very seriously. Generally, the police will make an arrest at the scene of any reasonably credible domestic violence charge if the accused remains on the scene (if not, the police will take statements from remaining witnesses, and a judge will subsequently issue an arrest warrant). When the domestic violence charge involves choking – or the attending officer believes there is evidence of such – the police will make an arrest on the felony charge of assault by choking.

Assessing the Situation

Police officers are trained to include questions related to actions that impede breathing when questioning any alleged victims of domestic violence. If the victim in question answers in the affirmative, the charge is automatically amplified from a misdemeanor to a felony. Further, it is not necessary that the alleged victim’s breathing be impeded for a significant amount of time for the police to take more serious action. Such an impediment to breathing can take many forms, including:

  • Being choked by a hand or arm across one’s neck

  • Having one’s face pushed into a pillow, mattress, or other such surfaces during the course of a struggle

  • Having one’s face purposefully shoved into a pillow, mattress, or other such surfaces

Ultimately if a domestic violence call involves an interaction that impedes the alleged victim’s ability to breathe, the situation and the charge become that much more severe.

Your Case

If you are charged with the felony of assault by choking, it is vital to keep in mind that, because it is a felony charge, it will need to move through the grand jury before proceeding to court. Typically, your experienced defense attorney will be allowed to submit a packet for the grand jury’s review that could end the prosecution at this critical juncture. Even if your case is indicted and moves on to trial, however, there are essential defense strategies that your accomplished criminal defense lawyer may employ (as applicable), including:

  • Some alleged victims change their stories too often to remain credible.

  • Some alleged victims say things in the heat of the moment that they go on to disavow.

  • Some alleged victims are motivated by revenge (or by anything else) to bring trumped-up or totally untrue charges.

  • Often, the physical evidence in an assault by choking charge is very weak.

Your case is unique to the circumstances involved and should be treated as such. Because the consequences of a conviction are so serious, however, bringing your most robust defense is critical.

Discuss Your Defense with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you are facing a felony charge, the matter is too serious to delay any action. You would be well-advised to consult with Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas. Mr. Pritchard is a well-regarded criminal defense lawyer who is committed to helping guide your case toward its most favorable resolution. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.

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