Aggravated Assault by Impeding Breathing

Experienced Phoenix Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Committed to Aggressively Defining Clients Facing Violent Crimes

Under Arizona law, there are many ways in which an assault can become an aggravated assault. But in terms of domestic violence charges, aggravated assault by impeding the breathing of another person is one of the most common. Like all aggravated assaults, this is an extremely serious crime that will almost certainly result in a prison sentence if you are convicted. However, there may be defenses available to you, and it is essential you understand what they are.

At the Law Office of James E. Novak, our dedicated Phoenix aggravated assault lawyer has more than 25 years of experience defending clients charged with all types of domestic violence offenses. We have earned a reputation as one of the top DV defense lawyers for our ability to develop compelling and creative defenses to even the toughest cases. If you’re charged with aggravated assault by impeding breathing, give us a call to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case today.

Is Choking Someone an Aggravated Assault in Arizona?

Depending on the situation, choking someone can be considered aggravated assault. Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1204(A), there are several ways to commit an aggravated assault. These include the following:

  • The victim suffered serious bodily injury;
  • The use of a deadly weapon or some other dangerous instrument;
  • The victim suffered a broken bone or organ damage;
  • The alleged victim was restrained;
  • The assault occurred in another’s home;
  • The victim was younger than 15 and the defendant older than 18; and
  • The assault also violated an order of protection.

However, under subsection B, it is also considered an aggravated assault to injure, try to injure, or cause a victim to fear an immediate injury by impeding the flow of blood or oxygen by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by obstructing their nose and mouth. This offense is referred to as aggravated assault by impeding breathing.

However, aggravated assault by impeding another’s breathing only applies in the domestic violence context, meaning the alleged victim must be one of the following in relation to the defendant:

  • Spouse or former spouse;
  • Current or former romantic partner;
  • Someone with whom the defendant shares a child in common;
  • Someone related to the defendant by blood or marriage; or
  • The defendant’s step-child.

A Phoenix domestic violence aggravated assault lawyer can help you better understand your possible defenses and work with you to devise a strategic defense.

Does a Victim Need to Sustain Any Injuries?

No, what makes this crime particularly challenging to defend against is the fact that there is no requirement that the prosecution prove that the alleged victim suffered any injury at all. In fact, the prosecution only needs to establish that the alleged victim was put in fear of “imminent injury” to prove its case.

This can make defending against these charges difficult. However, there are defenses to impeding the breathing of another person. For example, one of the best defenses to any domestic violence aggravated assault case is challenging the credibility of the alleged victim. Often, especially in domestic violence cases, there is a tumultuous history between the parties (bitter divorces, infidelity, custody battles, etc.), which could give the alleged victim a motive to fabricate the allegations.

What is the Punishment for Aggravated Assault by Impeding Another’s Breathing?

Like all aggravated assault cases, impeding another’s breathing is a felony offense. More specifically, the crime is categorized as a Class 4 felony. Class 4 felonies are punishable by a jail sentence between 18 and 36 months. However, if you have a prior felony conviction, you could face a significantly longer sentence.

Have You Been Charged With Aggravated Assault by Impeding Another’s Breathing?

If you are currently facing felony assault charges based on allegations you impeded the breathing of a family or household member, reach out to our Phoenix domestic violence defense attorney to schedule a free consultation. At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we have a long history of aggressively defending the rights of men and women charged with DV offenses and know what it takes to secure the best possible result—regardless of your prior record or what the prosecutor says happened. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with our Phoenix criminal defense lawyer today, call 480-413-1499. You can also reach us through our secure online contact form.

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