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Thousands Charged Under New Strangulation Law

Strangulation Law
Ethan Miller, Getty Images

Utica, NY (WIBX) – Last November, The Strangulation Act of 2010 took effect, and within 15 weeks, officials say at least one charge was filed in 58 out of New York States 62 counties. State officials say over 2,000 individuals have been charged under the law so far. Acting Commissioner of the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, Sean M. Byrne says the law has proven to be an effective tool for law enforcement officials.

Byrne said, “That shows a universal application in need immediately upon implementation that is handedly unprecedented, it’s just a very significance response to the new law.” He says 17 counties in the state reported at least 15 such arrest events, and says in Kings County alone, there were 467 people charged for violating the law. Oneida County reported 31 cases.

Depending on the severity of the strangulation act, an offender can be charged with a felony for the crime. Also, anyone convicted of strangulation is required to submit a DNA sample to the state data bank. Officials say the new law is one more tool law enforcement can use to prevent domestic violence and other similar crimes.

The Strangulation Act created three additional offenses that were added to the Penal Law on November 11, 2010.

  • Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation – Class A Misdemeanor
  • 2nd Degree Strangulation – Class D Felony
  • 1st Degree Strangulation – Class C Felony

Cattaraugus, Hamilton, Lewis and Tioga are the  four counties that did not report a strangulation arrest event, officials say.

According the the DCJS report, “Of the 2,003 individuals charged with strangulation offenses, males comoprised 94 percent of the suspects, and the majority of suspects were between the ages of 20 and 29. Fourty-four percent of the suspects were black, 29 percent were white and 22 percent, hispanic. The New York City Police Department reported the most arrest events, (1,198) followed by Suffolk County Police Department, (106) and the New York State Police (78).”

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