The following information clarifies the law on assault by strangulation or suffocation in Nebraska, a serious offense that can result in imprisonment and other consequences. Below, individuals can learn what the law says, the penalties for breaking it, defenses against a criminal charge, and how a criminal defense lawyer helps defend clients and protect their rights.

Omaha Assault by Strangulation or Suffocation

The skilled criminal defense team at Liberty Legal Group is ready to fight for you. Assault is a serious charge, and Assault by Strangulation or Suffocation automatically elevates the charge to a higher degree. Whether you are charged or are under investigation, our legal team has the experience and background to help you find your voice in court.

Our firm serves the communities of Omaha, Lincoln, Papillion, and Council Bluffs and the surrounding areas of Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy, Saunders, Dodge, Washington, and Cass counties in Nebraska. We are also licensed to practice law in Iowa and serve the communities of Council Bluffs, Pattawattamie County and the surrounding areas of Harrison and Mills counties.

If you or a loved one has been charged, arrested, or is under investigation for Assault by Strangulation or Suffocation, immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.

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How does Nebraska define Assault by Strangulation or Suffocation?

In Nebraska, assault by strangulation or suffocation is defined under Nebraska Revised Statute §28-310.01. According to this law, a person is considered to have committed assault by strangulation or suffocation if they knowingly and intentionally perform either of the following acts:

  • The person impedes breathing or circulation of blood of another person by placing pressure on that person’s throat or neck.
  • The person obstructs the normal breathing of another individual by covering the mouth and nose of that person.

This offense is committed regardless of whether these actions result in a visible injury to the other person. This means that the lack of physical marks or bruises does not stop the act from being classified as assault by strangulation or suffocation.

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What are the Penalties for Assault by Strangulation in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, the offense of assault by strangulation or suffocation is classified under two categories, depending on certain factors involved in the offense.

Generally, the offense is classified as a Class IIIA felony. The penalties for a Class IIIA felony in Nebraska include imprisonment for up to 3 years, followed by 9 to 18 months of post-release supervision. Additionally, a fine of up to $10,000 may be imposed.

The offense is elevated to a Class IIA felony under specific circumstances. These circumstances include instances where the individual used or attempted to use a dangerous weapon during the offense, caused serious injury to the victim, or had a previous conviction for the same offense. The penalty for a Class IIA felony is more severe, with a prison term of up to 20 years.

In Nebraska, an individual charged with the offense of assault by strangulation may have the option to avoid jail time. Probation, as an alternative to imprisonment, allows the individual to remain in the community under set conditions, aiming at rehabilitation and public safety.

The Lancaster County Veterans Diversion Program and Mental Health Diversion Program include assault by strangulation among their eligible offenses. These pre-plea programs provide structured interventions and treatment for qualifying individuals. Successful completion of such programs can lead to the dismissal or reduction of charges. However, it’s important to note that eligibility and acceptance into these programs are based on several factors; not everyone is eligible.

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What are some of the defenses to a charge of assault by strangulation?

In Nebraska, when facing a charge of assault by strangulation, there are several defenses that may be applicable, based on Nebraska Revised Statute §28-310.01. These defenses are important for the accused to possibly avoid a conviction if they apply to the circumstances of the case.

One key defense is challenging the element of intent. The law specifies that the act must be done “knowingly and intentionally.” Therefore, demonstrating that the act was accidental or without the intent to impede breathing or blood circulation could be a viable defense. This may involve proving that there was no deliberate attempt to apply pressure on the throat or neck or to cover the mouth and nose of the victim.

Self-defense or defense of others could also be a relevant defense. If the accused can demonstrate that the act of strangulation was in response to an immediate threat of harm to themselves or someone else, it could potentially justify their actions under Nebraska law.

In rare and specific contexts (e.g., rough sex), consent might be a defense, particularly in situations where the alleged victim consented to the act that is being construed as assault. This is a complex defense, and its validity would depend heavily on the circumstances of the case.

Also, if the act of strangulation or suffocation was part of a necessary and legitimate medical procedure, it is not considered an offense under this law. This would require evidence showing that the act was a medically justified procedure carried out by a qualified individual.

Finally, a defense could be based on insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offense as defined by the law. This might include challenging the credibility of witnesses, the reliability of any evidence, or the absence of injuries consistent with strangulation or suffocation.

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What Does a Criminal Defense Lawyer Do for Someone Facing Charges of Assault by Strangulation

A criminal defense lawyer in Nebraska provides legal representation to an individual charged with assault by strangulation or other violent crimes. The lawyer’s primary role is to defend their client against these serious allegations. They start by understanding the details of the case and examining all evidence. This involves scrutinizing the prosecution’s evidence and identifying any weaknesses or inconsistencies. Furthermore, the attorney explores all possible defenses available under Nebraska law. Each defense is tailored to the specific circumstances of the case.

In certain cases, such as where the evidence against the client is extensive, the attorney may negotiate plea deals. These deals often aim for reduced charges or penalties, such as probation instead of jail time. The lawyer also provides guidance on legal strategies and potential outcomes, ensuring their client makes informed decisions throughout the legal process. Overall, their objective is to ensure a fair trial and to work towards the best possible outcome, whether it’s a dismissal, acquittal, reduced sentence, or alternative resolutions like diversion programs.

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Additional Resources

Training Institute on Strangulation Prevention – This national institute is dedicated to offering training and assistance specifically focused on strangulation offenses in the context of intimate partner violence. Established in 2011, it provides various resources and support services, including online webinars. These educational materials are aimed at helping communities recognize the symptoms and signs of strangulation in such cases.

Assault Strangulation Laws in Nebraska – The official online statutes of the Nebraska Legislature include specific laws regarding assault by strangulation. For detailed information on Nebraska’s legal requirements and the potential penalties associated with an assault by strangulation offense, individuals can review the state’s online statutes.

Former Nebraska Head Coach Charged with Strangulation – A former head coach of the University of Nebraska’s football program faced charges of strangulation and domestic assault in the state of Nebraska.

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Hiring a defense attorney for Assault by Strangulation | Liberty Legal Group

Strangulation is a very serious charge, the consequences of which can include prison, protection orders and can affect your employment, future relationships and finances. Liberty Legal Group is dedicated to ensuring you get the representation that you need, immediately.

If you or a loved one has been charged, arrested, or placed under investigation for Assault by Strangulation or Suffocation, immediately at (402) 865-0501 to request a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case.