WI. STAT. ANN. § 940.235. STRANGULATION AND SUFFOCATION
(1) Whoever intentionally impedes the normal breathing or circulation of blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of another person is guilty of a Class H felony.
(2) Whoever violates sub. (1) is guilty of a Class G felony if the actor has a previous conviction under this section or a previous conviction for a violent crime, as defined in s. 939.632(1)(e)1.
In State v. Garrett, 354 Wis.2d 324 (2014, Wisconsin), the Defendant committed strangulation while out of bail and was sentenced two years of initial confinement and two years of extended supervision, consecutive to sentences issued on other counts. On appeal, the Defendant contended the court sentenced him on inaccurate information, namely “the unwarranted assumption he acted with an intent to kill the victim”. The Appellate Court held that in determining the proper sentence, a court must consider the gravity of the offense, the character of the defendant and the need to protect the public. In discussing the gravity of the offense, the trial court considered the bail jumping charges which involved the strangulation of the victim. The trial court was aware the victim reported that the defendant had “choked her until she had popped blood vessels in both eyes” and she “had bruises on her shoulders, face and chest.” Judge Jason Rossell said: “In this Court’s eyes, strangulation is very aggravating. When you strangle someone, there is only one thing you have in your mind, that is to kill the person because the only thing strangulation can do is kill the person. You are choking off their breath. .. Essentially, it’s attempted homicide, because what the end goal … is , you really are trying to end their life”. The Appellate court held those statements in light of the totality of the court’s statements at the sentencing hearing that the court was properly considering Defendant’s actions underlying this bail jumping charge based on the record before the court. Further, the court was entitled to draw reasonable inferences from the record.