A strangulation offense in Virginia, as outlined in VA Code §18.2-51.6, is categorized as a violent crime and is regarded with the utmost seriousness. Strangulation, as defined by VA Code §18.2-51.6 in Virginia, involves the intentional and unlawful act of impeding blood circulation or respiration without consent by applying pressure to an individual’s neck, resulting in injury or harm.
To establish guilt for a Virginia strangulation charge under VA Code §18.2-51.6, the prosecution is required to demonstrate that the accused:
Knowingly and Intentionally: To establish guilt in a Virginia strangulation case under VA Code §18.2-51.6, the Commonwealth is required to demonstrate that the accused intentionally and knowingly exerted pressure on the victim’s neck, resulting in the cessation of blood circulation or respiration.
Without Consent: Conviction for a Virginia strangulation offense also hinges on the Commonwealth proving that the neck pressure applied was non-consensual, as outlined in VA Code §18.2-51.6.
Stopping Blood Circulation or Respiration: Evidence must substantiate that the offender halted the victim’s blood circulation or respiration through the application of pressure to the victim’s neck.
Applying Pressure to Someone’s Neck: The Commonwealth must additionally establish that the accused physically applied pressure to another person’s neck, leading to wounding or bodily injury.
Causing Wounding or Bodily Injury: Conviction under VA Code §18.2-51.6 requires proof of physical harm to the victim. Notably, the inflicted injury need not be substantial or permanent for an offender to be convicted of strangulation in Virginia.
Committing strangulation in Virginia falls under a Class 6 felony. The prescribed penalty includes imprisonment for 1–5 years and a fine of up to $2500. Additionally, the offense may result in a sentence of up to 12 months in jail, along with a fine not exceeding $2500.
§18.2-51.6. Strangulation of another; penalty.
Any individual who, without the express consent of another person, obstructs the blood circulation or respiration of that person through willful, intentional, and unlawful application of pressure to the neck, thereby causing injury or harm, is deemed guilty of strangulation, classified as a Class 6 felony.
A charge of strangulation in Virginia is a grave offense, constituting a violent felony with repercussions that cannot be expunged in the state. Furthermore, a conviction not only leads to a permanent criminal record but also results in a lasting felony record. Individuals with felony convictions face restrictions on voting and firearm ownership and may experience potential ramifications on employment and educational prospects. If you find yourself facing a Virginia strangulation charge, it is imperative to seek immediate counsel from a Virginia criminal defense attorney.