Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–404.04. Strangulation.

(a) A person commits the offense of strangulation if that person knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly restricts the normal circulation of the blood or breathing of another person, either by applying pressure on the throat, neck, or chest of another person, or by blocking the nose or mouth of another person.

(b) Except for as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a person convicted of strangulation shall be fined no more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or incarcerated for no more than 5 years, or both.

(c) A person convicted of strangulation may be fined up to 1½ times the maximum fine otherwise authorized under this section and may be incarcerated for a term of up to 1½ times the maximum term of incarceration otherwise authorized under this section, or both, if:

(1) The victim sustained serious bodily injury, as that term is defined in § 22-404.01(d), as a result of the offense;

(2) The person was, at the time of the offense, required to stay away from or have no contact with the victim as a condition of their parole or supervised release or pursuant to a court order; or

(3) The person was, within 5 years of commission of the strangulation offense, convicted of either an intrafamily offense, as that term is defined in § 16-1001(8), or a similar offense in the law of another jurisdiction.

(d)(1) A conviction for strangulation merges with any other offense under §§ 22-401 through 22-404.04 arising from the same act or course of conduct.

(2) For a person found guilty of 2 or more offenses that merge under this section the sentencing court shall either:

(A) Vacate all but one of the offenses prior to sentencing according to the rule of priority in paragraph (3) of this subsection; or

(B) Enter judgment and sentence the actor for offenses that merge; provided, that:

(i) Sentences for the offenses run concurrent to one another; and

(ii) The convictions for all but, at most, one of the offenses shall be vacated after:

(I) The time for appeal has expired; or

(II) The judgment that was appealed has been decided.

(3) When convictions are vacated under paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection, the conviction that remains shall be the conviction for:

(A) The offense with the highest authorized maximum period of incarceration; or

(B) If 2 or more offenses have the same highest authorized maximum period of incarceration, any offense that the sentencing court deems appropriate.