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North Carolina Criminal Law 14-32.4: Felony Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation

1. Definition and Elements of the Crime

Felony Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation Under North Carolina Criminal Law 14-32.4, the crime of Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation is a Felony offense characterized as an assault or battery whereby the defendant strangled the alleged victim.

To prove a defendant committed the crime of Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation, the prosecutor must prove certain “essential elements” in its case-in-chief against the Defendant:

  1. The Defendant assaulted another person
  2. By strangulation
  3. Causing physical injury

To “strangle” or “strangulation” is defined as applying pressure to a person’s neck that causes airways or blood vessels to be closed.

In order to establish that the defendant acted intentionally, the prosecutor must show the defendant acted without any legal authority, justification, or excuse.

Physical injury must be more than physical contact. Examples of physical injuries may include things like scratches, cuts, bruises, abrasions, petechia to eyeball, petechia to eyelid, facial drooping, sore throat, raspy voice, swelling, ring of ears, bleeding in the ear, swollen tongue and lips, etc.

2. Examples of Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation

During an argument with his girlfriend, the Defendant puts his hands around her neck and squeezes. The girlfriend begins choking and the Defendant lets go. The girlfriend is left with marks on her neck and calls the police. The Defendant may be charged with Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation, a Class H Felony Offense.

The Defendant is involved in a physical altercation with another person. The Defendant puts the victim in a choke hold until they eventually lose consciousness. The Defendant may be charged with Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation, a Class H Felony Offense.

3. Related Offenses to Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation

Other related crimes offenses include:

4. Defenses to Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation

In appropriate legal circumstances, traditional common law defenses to assault charges may be available, such as: self-defense, defense of others, defense of property, accident, consent, etc. Furthermore, the State must prove the Defendant did indeed “strangle” the alleged victim. Incidental contact during a physical altercation that does not cause closure of blood vessels and/or the trachea may potentially serve as a valid defense to Felony Assult by Strangulation in North Carolina.

5. Penalties

Felony Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation Under North Carolina Criminal Law 14-32.4, Felony Strangulation without more may be deemed a Class H Felony, allowing for a maximum period of incarceration of up to 39 months.

The infliction of serious bodily injury substantially increases the offense level to a Class F felony. Serious bodily injury may be deemed that causes coma, disfigurement that is permanent, substantially creates the risk of death, and/or protracted or permanent condition that causes extreme pain, or protracted or permanent impairment or loss of function of a bodily organ or member, or an injury that prolonged medical hospitalization results.

The amount of active time in jail that a defendant receives as punishment varies for each case and also takes into consideration the defendant’s “Prior Record Level (PRL).”

Other terms and punishment conditions can include:

  • Supervised Probation
  • Unsupervised Probation
  • Anger Management – Counseling
  • Alcohol/Drug Assessment/Treatment
  • Performance of Community Service Hours
  • Electronic Monitoring (EM)
  • Court Costs
  • Fines
  • Restitution to the Victim

In addition to punishment conditions, a conviction of Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation is not presently eligible for expungement under the current North Carolina Criminal Laws.

6. Criminal Defense for Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation

If you have been charged or arrested for Assault Inflicting Physical Injury by Strangulation, we recommend you contact our team of experienced Charlotte criminal lawyers.

Powers Law Firm PA offers free and confidential consultation for criminal charges in North Carolina.

Please call now to schedule a secure video conference, office visit, or initial telephone consultation.

We provide legal help to people facing serious criminal charges in the Charlotte-metro region including in Iredell County, Gaston County, Rowan County, and Union County, NC for matters including things like:

  1. Domestic Assaults
  2. Domestic Violence Charges
  3. Attempted Murder
  4. Battery
  5. Felony Assaults
  6. Assault Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury
  7. AWDWISI
  8. AWDWIKISI
  9. Weapons Charges

We are available for consultation by calling: 704-342-4357

You may also reach Bill Powers by emailing him at Bill@CarolinaAttorneys.com

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