To cause someone to stop breathing or to obstruct that person’s ability to breathe is against the law. In other words, it is a criminal offense to choke or strangle another individual. Such actions are considered extremely serious by New York law enforcement because they frequently lead to severe injuries and even death. Choking another individual is referred to as criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation in the New York Penal Code. You can get prosecuted for criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation under New York Penal Code § 121.11 if you apply pressure on the throat or neck of another individual or block the nose or mouth, with intent to impede that individual’s usual breathing or circulation of blood.
In the case of the People v. Figueroa, 968 N.Y.S.2d 866 (2013), the defendant was convicted of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation on the basis of the fact that he had applied pressure to his girlfriend’s neck causing her to struggle for air. Witnesses observed the man put his left hand on the woman’s throat and then his right hand on the back of her neck. They saw that the woman’s color turned white, her eyes bugged out and she struggled to breathe. Witnesses who were present during the incident testified that the choking lasted for about 2-3 seconds.
Offenses that are Related
Strangulation in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 121.12
Strangulation in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 121.13
The criminal code furnishes defendants a statutory defense against a charge of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation. According to New York Penal Code § 121. 11, if your actions are pursuant to a necessary medical or dental purpose, then you could bring a solid defense against a choking or strangulation charge.
On top of that, if you can demonstrate that your intent was not to impede that person’s usual breathing or circulation of blood, under those circumstances, you have a defense against a charge of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.
Because this is categorized as a class A misdemeanor, if you are convicted of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation charge, the maximum sentence that you could be given by the judge is 1 year in jail. It is also possible that the judge may sentence you to no jail time. In lieu of any time behind bars, your sentence may simply be a probation term of 3 years.
It is critical for you to understand that criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation is also classified as a family offense. What that means to you is that if the choking took place in relation to a domestic violence incident, then the prosecution of your case may be subject to the special guidelines related to concurrent jurisdiction under Criminal Procedure Law § 140.10(4).
Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.
Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.
Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.
We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.
555 W 5th St 35th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013
35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106
85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004
195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201