Strangulation and Suffocation Charges in Wisconsin

Strangulation and suffocation is a felony under Wisconsin law. It is defined as purposefully interfering with a person’s normal blood circulation and impeding their ability to breathe by:

  • Putting pressure on a person’s throat or neck, or
  • Blocking a person’s nose or mouth

This may occur in a situation involving domestic violence or during a fight when one individual grabs another by the neck. During the investigation, the police may ask the alleged victim if he or she had difficulty breathing and use this as evidence that strangulation and suffocation occurred.

It is important to understand that the alleged victim does not have to be rendered unconscious in order for these serious charges to be filed.

Penalties

Strangulation and suffocation is a Class H felony, unless the accused has a prior violent crime conviction. In these cases, it is elevated to a Class G felony.

As a Class H felony, it is punishable by:

  • Six years in prison
  • $10,000 fine

As a Class G felony, the penalties can include:

  • 10 years in prison
  • $25,000 fine

Potential Defenses

Because this offense is a felony, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney to build the best defense possible in your case. Your attorney should examine every aspect of your case, including the police report as well as the alleged victim’s medical records, including photographs of the injury.

Intent is one of the linchpins of strangulation and suffocation cases. Your attorney may find that it is in your best interest to argue that you did not mean to hinder the alleged victim’s breathing or blood flow.  

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