House of Representatives

SB 1086

strangulation; suffocation; aggravated assault

Sponsors: Senators Gray L, Paton; Representative Barto



Committee on Judiciary


Caucus and COW


House Engrossed

SB 1086 classifies strangulation and suffocation within a relationship included in the definition of domestic violence as a Class 4 felony.

Summary of the Proposed Strike-Everything Amendment to SB 1086

The proposed strike-everything amendment to SB 1086 expands the acts that constitute domestic violence, and classifies strangulation and suffocation within a relationship included in the definition of domestic violence as a Class 4 felony.


Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) A.R.S. §13-1203 states that person commits assault by: a) intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing any physical injury to another person; b) intentionally placing another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury; or c) knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such person.  Moreover, A.R.S. §13-1204 specifies the conditions under which a person commits aggravated assault. Aggravated assaults include assaults where: a) a serious physical injury to another is caused; b) a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument is used; c) a private home is entered with the intent to assault; d) a child 15 years or younger is victimized by an adult; e) the victim is a peace officer, firefighter, school employee, prison employee, health care practitioner or prosecutor; f) the victim is physically restrained; g) the victim suffers temporary but substantial disfigurement or impairment of any body organ or part; or h) the assault is committed in violation of an order of protection.

A.R.S. §13-3601 defines domestic violence as any of a number of acts that occur when the victim and defendant are married, were previously married or reside or have resided in the same household; the victim and the defendant have a child in common; the victim or the defendant is pregnant by the other party; the victim is related to the defendant or the defendant's spouse by blood or court order as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother or sister or by marriage as a parent‑in‑law, grandparent‑in‑law, stepparent, step‑grandparent, stepchild, step‑grandchild, brother‑in‑law or sister‑in‑law; the victim is a child who resides or has resided in the same household as the defendant and is related by blood to a former spouse of the defendant or to a person who resides or who has resided in the same household as the defendant; the relationship between the victim and the defendant is currently or was previously a romantic or sexual relationship.

The acts that constitute domestic violence include any dangerous crime against children, endangerment, threatening or intimidating, assault, aggravated assault, custodial interference, unlawful imprisonment, kidnapping, criminal trespass in the first, second or third degree, criminal damage, interfering with judicial proceedings, disorderly conduct, use of a telephone to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, harassment, aggravated harassment, stalking, surreptitious photographing, videotaping, filming or digitally recording or viewing, aggravated domestic violence and child or vulnerable adult abuse.

Domestic violence in itself is not a crime in Arizona, with the exception of aggravated domestic violence.  It is used as a sentencing enhancement for the other crimes enumerated above.  The penalties for domestic violence related offenses depend on the severity of the act, as well as the age of the victim and perpetrator, and range from a minimum class 3 misdemeanor to a maximum class 2 felony.  Additionally, §13-3601 requires the court, if a defendant is found guilty of a first time domestic violence offense, to provide a written notice to the defendant that outlines possible penalties for second and subsequent domestic violence offenses.  The statute, however, specifies that the failure or inability of the court to provide the notice does not preclude the use of prior convictions for purposes permitted by law.


·          Classifies as aggravated assault, subject to a Class 4 felony, intentionally or knowingly impeding the normal breathing or circulation of blood or another person by applying pressure to the throat or neck or by obstructing the nose and mouth of another person.

·          Applies this crime only in situations where the parties are in a relationship that is enumerated in the definition of domestic violence.

·          Adds the following crimes to the definition of domestic violence:

Ř        First degree murder

Ř        Second degree murder

Ř        Negligent homicide

Ř        Manslaughter

Ř        Sexual assault

Ř        Intentionally or knowingly subjecting an animal in the person’s custody or control to cruel neglect or abandonment that results in serious physical injury to the animal.

Ř        Intentionally or knowingly subjecting an animal to cruel mistreatment.

Ř        Intentionally preventing or interfering with the use of a telephone by another person in an emergency situation.

·          Eliminates the requirement that a court provide a first time domestic violence offender with notice of the consequences if he or she is convicted of a second or subsequent offense.


Committee on Judiciary

·          Adopted the strike-everything amendment.



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·          Forty-ninth Legislature

·          Second Regular Session    2          April 9, 2010


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