Pennsylvania (2016)


(a) Offense defined. A person commits the offense of strangulation if the person knowingly or intentionally impedes the breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by:

(1) Applying pressure to the throat or neck;or

(2) Blocking the nose and mouth of the person.

(b) Physical injury. Infliction of a physical injury to a victim shall not be an element of the offense. The lack of physical injury to a victim shall not be a defense in a prosecution under this section.

(c) Affirmative defense. It shall be an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that the victim consented to the defendant’s actions as provided under Section 311 (relating to consent).

(d) Grading

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), a violation of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor of the second degree.

(2) A violation of this section shall constitute a felony ofthe second degree if committed:

(i) Against a family or household member as defined in 23pa.c.s. § 6102 (relating to definitions);

(ii) By a caretaker against a care-dependent person; or

(iii) In conjunction with sexual violence as defined in 42 pa.c.s. 62a03 (relating to definitions) or conduct constituting a crime under 18 pa.c.s. § 2709.1 (relating to stalking) or ch. 30 subch. b (relating to prosecution of human trafficking).

(3) A violation of this section shall constitute a felony of the first degree if:

(1) At the time of commission of the offense, the defendant is subject to an active protection from abuse order under 23 pa.c.s. ch. 61 (relating to protection from abuse) or a sexual violence or intimidation protection order under 42 pa.c.s. ch. 62a (relating to protection of victims of sexual violence or intimidation) that covers the victim;

(ii) The defendant uses an instrument of crime as defined in Section 907 (relating to possessing instruments of crime) in commission of the offense under this section; or

(iii) The defendant has previously been convicted of anoffense under paragraph (2) or a substantially similar offense in another jurisdiction.

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