What is domestic battery by strangulation in Florida?

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The crime of Domestic Battery by Strangulation is a Third Degree Felony in Florida which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.

This offense occurs when a person:

Intentionally impedes the normal breathing or circulation of a family member or person they are in a dating relationship with by applying pressure on the throat or blocking the nose and mouth.

Defenses to Domestic Battery by Strangulation

  • No Significant Risk of Bodily Harm.  [1]
    • The defendant must have “knowingly and intentionally” impeded normal breathing.  In some cases of play or sexual relationships, it may be a defense if there is no evidence that the defendant prevented their partner from breathing through strangulation.  
  • Self Defense.  [2]
    • If a family or household member or a romantic partner attacks the defendant first, this may be used to show self-defense. 


  1. Lopez-Macaya v. State, 278 So. 3d 248 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2019). 
  2. Miles v. State, 94 So. 3d 662 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012). 

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Glenn M. Swiatek for a Free Initial Consultation in Destin, Shalimar, Crestview, Ft. Walton Beach and other areas of Northwest Florida

If you have been arrested or believe you will soon be arrested for the offense of domestic battery by strangulation in Destin, Shalimar, Crestview, Ft. Walton Beach or other areas of Northwest Florida please call us today at (850) 609‑0940 or contact us online.

Initial Office Consults are free, and I will make myself available to suit your schedule. Get the peace of mind that an attorney with over twenty-three years of criminal law experience can bring.