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Assault with Strangulation

Assault is misdemeanor offense in Texas, and for several years, prosecutors could not seek felony charges against alleged offenders accused of strangling or suffocating family or household members unless the actions constituted aggravated assault and resulted in serious injuries or involved a deadly weapon. The Texas Legislature, however, passed a new law in 2009 that modified the Texas Penal Code such that alleged strangulation would result in assault charges being enhanced to a felony offense.

The problem with alleged strangulation cases is that such actions rarely leave any physical evidence to support the accusations, and many individuals are often charged with this crime based solely on the testimony of an alleged victim. As a felony offense, assault by strangulation carries steep penalties—especially if an alleged offender has been previously convicted of a crime of family violence.

Attorney for Assault with Strangulation Arrests in Fort Worth, TX

If you were arrested in the DFW area for an alleged domestic assault offense involving strangulation, it is in your best interest to not say anything to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC as soon as possible.

Fort Worth criminal defense lawyers Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes represent clients accused of various types of family violence in Weatherford, Fort Worth, Cleburne, Arlington, or any one of a number of other communities in Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County. You can have our attorneys review your case when you call 817-502-3600 today to have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free initial consultation.


Tarrant County Assault with Strangulation Information Center


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Assault with Strangulation Penalties in Texas

Texas Penal Code § 22.01(a)(1) make the crime of assault a Class A misdemeanor when an alleged offender intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person, including the person's spouse. Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b)(2), however, makes this type of assault a third-degree felony if the alleged victim had a dating relationship or was a family or household member with the alleged offender, and the alleged offense was committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the alleged victim by applying pressure to the alleged victim's throat or neck or by blocking the alleged victim's nose or mouth or the alleged offender was previously convicted of any of the following offenses against an alleged victim who had a dating relationship with or was a family or household member with the alleged offender:

  • Any assaultive offense listed under Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code;
  • Any criminal homicide offense listed under Chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code;
  • Kidnapping;
  • Aggravated kidnapping;
  • Indecency with a child; or
  • Continuous violence against the family.

A third-degree felony conviction is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.


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Penalties for Assault with Strangulation with Prior Conviction in Tarrant County

Under Texas Penal Code § 22.01(b-1), domestic assault becomes a second-degree felony if:

  • The alleged victim had a dating relationship or was a family or household member with the alleged offender;
  • The alleged offender was previously convicted of any assaultive offense listed under Chapter 22 of the Texas Penal Code, any criminal homicide offense listed under Chapter 19 of the Texas Penal Code, kidnapping, aggravated kidnapping, or indecency with a child; and
  • The alleged offense was committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the alleged victim by applying pressure to the alleged victim's throat or neck or by blocking the alleged victim's nose or mouth.

A second-degree felony conviction is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.


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Texas Assault with Strangulation Resources

Family Violence Strangulation in Texas | Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) — The TCFV is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that “promotes safe and healthy relationships by supporting service providers, facilitating strategic prevention efforts, and creating opportunities for freedom from domestic violence.” View a TCFV brochure discussing the strangulation law in Texas and learn how strangulation and suffocation are defined as well as what some of the signs and symptoms of strangulation are. You can also find information about what advocates do and how they can help victims.

A closer look at strangulation cases | Texas District & County Attorneys Association — The Texas District and County Attorneys Association is a nonprofit organization that serves Texas prosecutors and their staffs. View the full text of a January-February 2014 article that discusses how the strangulation statute’s enactment in 2009 changed the ways that prosecutors could handle these types of cases. You can also learn more about understanding injuries, how officers should gather evidence, and the roles of experts in prosecuting these cases.


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Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC | Fort Worth Assault with Strangulation Defense Lawyer

Were you arrested for an alleged domestic assault involving strangulation in the DFW area? Even if you are completely confident that you are innocent, you should not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have contacted Townsend, Gebhardt & Eppes, PLLC.

Andrea Townsend, Steven Gebhardt, and Brian Eppes are experienced criminal defense attorneys in Fort Worth who aggressively defends individuals accused of all kinds of domestic violence crimes in communities throughout Tarrant County, Parker County, and Johnson County, including Arlington, Weatherford, Fort Worth, Cleburne, and several others. Call 817-502-3600 or complete an online form to have our lawyers provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


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