Legal Information: Delaware

Statutes: Delaware

View all
Updated: 
September 13, 2023

§ 607. Strangulation or suffocation; penalty; affirmative defense

(a)(1) A person commits the offense of strangulation if the person knowingly or intentionally impedes the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of another person by applying pressure on the throat or neck of the other person.

(2) A person commits the offense of suffocation if the person knowingly or intentionally prevents another person from breathing by blocking or obstructing the nose or mouth of the other person.

(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, strangulation or suffocation is a class D felony.

(2) Strangulation or suffocation is a class B felony if:

a. The person used or attempted to use a dangerous instrument or a deadly weapon while committing the offense; or

b. The person caused serious physical injury to the other person while committing the offense; or

c. Repealed by 83 Laws 2022, ch. 392, § 1.

d. The person was subject to an existing court order prohibiting contact with the victim at the time of the offense; or

e. The person committed the offense against a pregnant female; or

f. The person committed the offense against a child.

(c) Notwithstanding any provisions of this Code to the contrary, any person who commits an offense under subsection (a) of this section within 5 years of a prior conviction under either subsection (a) or (b) of this section or a substantially similar section of another state, shall receive a minimum sentence of 1 year at Level 5.

(d) The absence of visible bodily injury shall not preclude a conviction under this section.

(e) It is an affirmative defense that an act constituting strangulation was the result of a legitimate medical procedure.

WomensLaw serves and supports all survivors, no matter their sex or gender.