What is Assault by Choking or Assault Strangulation?
Assault, including Assault by Choking, is defined by Penal Code Section 22.01. In Texas, an allegation that a person intentionally, knowingly, or even recklessly impeded the breath or circulation of blood of someone who is considered a family member will give rise to a third-degree felony charge of Assault by Choking or Impeding Breath.
What is Choking or Impeding Breath?
Choking means intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to a person's throat or neck or by block the person's nose or mouth.
What if the Victim had No Injuries?
The law does not require bruises, marks, burst capillaries in the eyes (petechiae), or any other type of visible injury for the state to proceed on this charge.
What Level Offense is Choking or Impeding Breath?
This is a third degree felony, unless the person has a prior family violence conviction in which case it is enhanced to a second-degree felony.
Is Choking a "3g" Offense?
Assault by Impeding Breath or Choking is not a 3g offense. Click here to learn more about 3g offenses. However, the State may allege the item that was used, whether it was hands or rope or some other object, was a deadly weapon. The deadly weapon paragraph, if found to be true, will make the offense a 3g offense.
Statutory Defenses in Texas Criminal Law