C.G.S. § 53a-64bb – Strangulation in the Second Degree
C.G.S. § 53a-64bb is the statutory citation for Connecticut's strangulation statute. This level of strangulation requires that the accused acted with an intent to interfere with or impede the ability of another to breath. Strangulation is a Class D felony in Connecticut. Strangulation is most commonly charged as a domestic violence offense in Connecticut.
The only difference between regular strangulation and domestic violence strangulation is the relationship between the accused and the victim. Strangulation is prosecuted very seriously, as it is a crime that can result in serious injuries or even death.Elements of the Crime Which Must be Proven by The Prosecution
There are three levels of strangulation in Connecticut. Strangulation in the second degree is the mid-level strangulation offense.
To prove a violation of C.G.S. § 53a-64bb, the prosecutor must prove the following elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The accused restrains the victim by the neck or throat, or obstructs the nose and mouth of the victim;
- The accused acts with the intent to restrict the ability of the victim to breath;
- In so acting the accused impedes the ability of the victim to breath or restricts the blood circulation of the victim.
A husband and wife are arguing, and the discussion becomes heated. The wife starts to scream loudly, so the man tries to silence his wife by placing his hands over her mouth and nose. The man restricts his wife from breathing long enough to cause medical evidence of strangulation. The man could be accused of strangulation in the second degree in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-64bb.
A boyfriend and girlfriend have a heated argument. The girlfriend then loses her temper and physically attacks the man. The man tries to fight the woman off of him, and he grabs her by the neck for a short period of time to attempt to restrain her. Because the man did not intend to restrain the ability of his girlfriend to breath or restrict the circulation of her blood, he could not be charged with strangulation in the second degree, but he could be accused of the lesser offense of strangulation in the third degree in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-64cc if his actions are not deemed to be entirely self-defense.Related Offenses
- Connecticut General Statutes §53a-64cc – Strangulation in the Third Degree
- Connecticut General Statutes §53a-96 - Unlawful Restraint in the Second Degree
- Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-61 – Assault in the Third Degree
There are several valid defenses to strangulation allegations. The statute itself creates a statutory defense to the crime.
Often when the police arrest someone for strangulation, they will also charge them for assault and unlawful restraint for the same action. This leaves the accused with three charges for one allegation. The strangulation statute specifically states that you can not be found guilty of §53a-64cc – strangulation in the third degree and assault or unlawful restraint upon the same incident. Since strangulation is generally considered to be the more serious charge of the three allegations, strangulation is the one that the state will generally seek to get a conviction for.
Strangulation crimes are very nuanced. The difference between the three degrees of strangulation often is very slight. In many situations, it takes careful examination of medical records to examine the extent of injuries to capillaries in the throat and eyes to determine the extent of the strangulation. The police frequently know little about the science of strangulation and are known to overcharge to a high level of strangulation than the injuries to the victim warrant.
Another essential defense task is to retain an experienced investigator to gather exculpatory evidence.
Armed with medical and investigatory information, a skilled Connecticut criminal defense attorney can often negotiate a reduction of the charges to a lower level of strangulation than initially charged or, in some cases, obtain an outright dismissal of the charges.
For offenders with no prior criminal record, the use of a diversionary program would result in a dismissal of all the charges. The accelerated rehabilitation program is an available option to resolve strangulation in the second-degree charges without having to plead guilty or wind up with a criminal record. For those offenders who have been charged with strangulation as a domestic violence offense, then the family violence education program would be the appropriate diversionary program.Penalties
The penalty for a violation of C.G.S. § 64bb – Strangulation in the second degree is a Class D Felony for which you can face up to five years in jail and a fine up to $5,000.Criminal Defense for Strangulation in the Second Degree
If you have been arrested for strangulation in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-64bb, you should immediately speak to an experienced Connecticut criminal lawyer. Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman has over 30 years of experience defending strangulation allegations. Attorney Friedman will work hard to get the charges against you dismissed or significantly reduce the possible penalties.
For more information about defending strangulation allegations in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-64bb, contact Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman at The Law Offices of Allan F. Friedman to arrange your free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Our offices are located at 1100 Summer St #306, Stamford, CT 06905. Mr. Friedman can be reached 24/7 at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response.