What is Domestic Violence Battery by Strangulation Under Florida Law?

The crime of Domestic Violence Battery by Strangulation in Florida:

A person commits domestic battery by strangulation if the person knowingly and intentionally, against the will of another, impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of a family or household member or of a person with whom he or she is in a dating relationship, so as to create a risk of or cause great bodily harm by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person or by blocking the nose or mouth of the other person.

What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence Battery by Strangulation in Florida?

In Florida a Domestic Violence Battery by Strangulation is classified as a third-degree felony,

If convicted of Domestic Violence Battery by Strangulation, a judge can sentence you to:

  • Up to 5 years in Prison.
  • Up to 5 years of probation.
  • Up to $5,000.00 in fines.
  • Mandatory Batterers Intervention Course
  • Forfeit Firearm Permit
  • Forfeit All Firearms
  • No eligibility to have your record sealed
  • Court Costs

Domestic Violence Battery cases are prosecuted in Circuit Court and are usually assigned to a specific division which only handles Domestic Violence Charges.  The prosecutors who handle these cases are much more experienced and much more aggressive than other divisions.  Due to the perceived vulnerable nature of an alleged victim of Domestic Violence, the State usually seeks increased restrictions on you during the pre-trial phase, and increased penalties after a plea or conviction at trial.

Many aggressive prosecutors in Florida seek jail sentences and long probation sentences for even first time Domestic Violence Battery offenders.  This happens many times even where the battery charge is the defendant’s first ever criminal charge.  Whether jail is sought will depend on a number of factors, including the prior criminal record of the accused, the status and preferences of the alleged victim, the existence of injuries, the need for restitution (money paid to the victim for out of pocket expenses) and the strength of the prosecution’s case.

There are several defenses to the crime of Battery


If the alleged victim asked you or ordered you to touch or strike him/her, this is a complete defense to the charge of Domestic Violence Battery by Strangulation.

Mutual Combat

Mutual Combat describes the scenario where two or more people are fighting each other.  By engaging in a fight, the law treats each person as having consented to whatever injuries or touches/strikes he or she receives from any other person.  Engaging in mutual combat with another person is defense to the charge of misdemeanor battery because a person cannot enter a fight, and then complain later they were attacked unlawfully.

No Intentional Touching

The touching of the alleged victim must be intentional.  The State must prove that the defendant had the specific intent to touch or strike the alleged victim.  If the touch was unintentional or inadvertent, there can be no misdemeanor battery.

Self Defense

The opposite of Mutual Combat occurs when a defendant defends him/herself against the attack of another.  Self Defense is also known as the “justified use of force, is a defense to the crime of battery so long as you use non-deadly force to defend yourself against another person’s unlawful attack.

Significant credibility issues with the Alleged Victim

Victim suffers from mental health problems; alcohol or substance abuse, a pending divorce, child custody issues, financial disputes.  Any number of reasons why a spiteful spouse, partner or family member may want to tie you up in a legal battle.

How do Battery Charges get Dropped?

Victim Fails to Participate

Many times, the police are called to merely diffuse an argument between husband and wife, partners, boyfriend/girlfriend or family members.  Unfortunately, once the police are called, someone usually gets arrested.   Oftentimes, the alleged victim simply ignores calls from the State or the police to participate in the prosecution.  There are a lot of Domestic Violence Battery cases being prosecuted by the State where the State has no contact with their alleged victim.  These cases usually end up set for trial, and are later dismissed.

Waiver of Prosecution

An Alleged Victim “Dropping the Charges” is a very common misconception.  Even if the victim wishes for the charges to be dropped, there are many circumstances which would allow the State Attorney may proceed with their prosecution even without victim participation.  If you are charged with a crime of Domestic Violence, contact Attorney’s Dell and to discuss your options.  If the victim wishes to have the charges dropped, we can help him/her in the process by having him/her sign a Sworn Waiver of Prosecution to tell the State that the victim does not want to move forward.