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TRBR. Todd Bennett, P.C.

Board Certified, Criminal Law Texas Board of Legal Specialization

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The impact of choking allegations in a domestic assault charge

Accusations of domestic assault in Texas, especially those involving choking can mean very serious potential criminal penalties. An assault charge can go from being a misdemeanor to a felony just for a single allegation of choking. The public policy behind this is likely due to the increased possibility for death if a person chokes someone as opposed to hitting them. However, it often creates a much more difficult road for the accused if choking is part of the fact pattern.

What exactly constitutes choking? According to Texas Penal Code Section 22.01(b-1)(3), it is considered choking when the act is committed by:

". . . intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person's throat or neck or by blocking the person's nose or mouth."

This can be construed as a broad-sweeping definition. For example, the accused and the accusing spouse could have been engaging in a verbal argument. The argument could have escalated into the accusing spouse trying to spit or bite the accused. A natural reaction would be to stop this and could even mean placing one's hand over the mouth briefly. However, the accused could claim that he or she was choked, according to this definition.

Going from a misdemeanor to a felony charge is huge. This is because jail time goes from up to one year to a decade of imprisonment. With freedom at stake, this is a pivotal point for the accused. You do not want just any attorney. You want someone who is going to utilize experience, skills and the law to aggressively defend you. For more information, talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Texas today.

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R. Todd Bennett, P.C.
1545 Heights Blvd. Suite 600
Houston, TX 77008

Phone: 713-752-2728 | Fax: 713-650-1602
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