Strangulation or Suffocation
In 2014 the Massachusetts legislature passed a law defining the offense of strangulation or suffocation. Strangulation is defined in the law as "intentional interference of the normal breathing or circulation of blood by applying substantial pressure on the throat or neck of another," and suffocation is defined as "the intentional interference of the normal breathing or circulation of blood by blocking the nose or mouth of another."
The offense of Strangulation or Suffocation is a felony carrying up to five years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Aggravated/Subsequent Offense of Strangulation or Suffocation
The law futher provides for increased penalties for any person charged with strangulation or suffocation where it is alleged that the vicitim suffered serious bodily injury, was pregnant at the time, had a court order of protection against the defendant at the time, or where the defendant has previously been convicted of a similar offense in the past. Where one of these aggravating facors is alleged, the potential penalty is increased to up to ten years in prison, and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
If you or someone you know has been charged with suffocation or strangulation, contact me now to set up a free and confidential consultation.
See: G.L. c. 265, s. 15D