This is the code on the Travis County criminal courts docket for a domestic assault case involving a choking allegation.

The jail inmate list usually displays these cases with the same offense description code as a misdemeanor Family Violence assault except they are listed with a felony cause number starting with “D1DC” instead of a misdemeanor cause number starting with “C1CR.”

What is the significance of a choking allegation?

Under Texas law, a person who chokes, strangles or suffocates a family member, roommate, or person they were romantically involved with may be charged with a third degree felony assault. If the person has also previously been convicted of any type of assault against a family member, roommate or person they were dating then the person may be charged with a second degree felony. This enhancement applies even if the prior assault was only a Class C misdemeanor.

The Texas Penal Code says an assault is subject to felony enhancement when:

the offense is committed by intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of the blood of the person by applying pressure to the person’s throat or neck or by blocking the person’s nose or mouth.

Officers of the Austin Police department are trained to use a Strangulation Supplement form to ensure that no clues are missed when investigating an assault case where the suspect is accused of impeding the breath or circulation of the alleged victim. The number of choking assault cases filed by APD has been growing steadily since the law went into effect in 2009.

Sometimes, law enforcement will charge the suspect with aggravated assault by alleging that the person used his hands as a deadly weapon. When this happens, the jail inmate list may show the offense description as ASSLT INT/RECK IMPED.  Aggravated assault may also be charged when the alleged victim suffers serious bodily injury. Depending on the circumstances, aggravated assault may be a first or second degree felony.

Please see my Assault Family Violence FAQ page for more information.


Answers to other Frequently Asked Questions

We defend people accused of domestic assault in Austin, Texas.
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