Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Circulation (PL § 121.11) and Strangulation (PL § 121.12, § 121.13) Charges Defense Lawyer - New York City

In New York, the criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation charges happen if you, with intent to impede the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person, apply pressure on the throat or neck or block the nose or mouth. It is called strangulation and becomes a felony if there is a resulting loss of consciousness, physical injury, or a stupor.

Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Circulation (PL § 121.11) Penalties (Misdemeanor)

- Up to one year in jail

- Probation

- Conditional discharge

- Fine of up to $1,000

- Unconditional discharge

- There could be immigration consequences

- Permanent criminal record

- Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation is a class A misdemeanor.

Strangulation in the 2nd degree (PL § 121.12) Penalties (no priors) (Felony)

- Up to 7 years in prison

- Fine of up to $5,000

- immigration consequences

- Permanent violent felony conviction on your record

Strangulation in the 1st degree (PL § 121.13) Penalties (no priors) (Felony)

- Up to 15 years in prison

- Fine of up to $5,000

- immigration consequences

- Permanent violent felony conviction on your record

Obstruction of Breathing and Strangulation Cases in New York City

Obstruction of breathing is the misdemeanor version of the similar charges for strangulation. We often see Criminal Obstruction of Breathing charged in the context of a domestic violence case. This means that often, but not always, the victim and person arrested were or are married, dating, related, or have a child in common. Prosecutors in New York City are very aggressive when dealing with cases involving allegations of obstruction of breathing or strangulation. This is because unlike an assault which often causes pain or injury to soft tissue, strangulation or obstruction of breathing can kill, seriously injure, or psychologically injure the victim because the act threatens the victim's ability to breath. The human brain can start to die if deprived of oxygen for only 4-5 minutes.

We fight for our clients regardless of the allegations because just because someone claims you strangled or obstructed their breathing does not mean that it is true or that there aren't other defenses or circumstances that should be raised in your defense. Being arrested for obstruction of breathing or strangulation does not have to result in a conviction. Contact us for an obstruction of breathing or strangulation case evaluation.

Statutes:

Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation

§ 121.11 Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation.

A person is guilty of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood
circulation when, with intent to impede the normal breathing or
circulation of the blood of another person, he or she:

a. applies pressure on the throat or neck of such person; or

b. blocks the nose or mouth of such person.

Criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation is a class A
misdemeanor.

PEN 121.11 2014-09-22

Strangulation in the Second Degree

Strangulation in the second degree

§ 121.12 Strangulation in the second degree.

A person is guilty of strangulation in the second degree when he or
she commits the crime of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood
circulation, as defined in section 121.11 of this article, and thereby
causes stupor, loss of consciousness for any period of time, or any
other physical injury or impairment.

Strangulation in the second degree is a class D felony.


Strangulation in the first degree

§ 121.13 Strangulation in the first degree.

A person is guilty of strangulation in the first degree when he or she
commits the crime of criminal obstruction of breathing or blood
circulation, as defined in section 121.11 of this article, and thereby
causes serious physical injury to such other person.

Strangulation in the first degree is a class C felony.

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