Key measures in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 will give prosecutors new powers to charge suspects with specific offences of non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation.
From 7 June 2022, prosecutors will have new powers to charge suspects with specific offences of non-fatal strangulation and non-fatal suffocation, as key measures in the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 come into force.
The CPS has published new legal guidance to assist lawyers considering criminal charges for these offences.
The new legislation sets out the legal definition that a person commits an offence of non-fatal strangulation if they intentionally strangle another person, and non-fatal suffocation where a person does any other act that affects someone’s ability to breathe and constitutes battery.
The CPS guidance provides a non-exhaustive list of how these offences can manifest, with prosecutors being asked to take careful consideration as to when it would be appropriate to use them rather than alternative charges such as Actual Bodily Harm, Grievous Bodily Harm and Battery.
The new offences have the sentencing power of a maximum five years’ imprisonment.
While victims may often be left with little or no physical marks, the guidance is clear this is not a reason to detract from the seriousness of these offences.
Contact the Public Defender Service to instruct our criminal defence lawyers specialising in complex cases including serious violence, strangulation and suffocation.