Can your hands be considered a “deadly weapon” either in an assault or battery?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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Can your hands be considered a “deadly weapon” either in an assault or battery?

The instance in question is where one person got mad at another for a comment that was made about them. The person the comment was made about got mad and wanted to teach the other person a “lesson”, so in an attempt to scare them they went after the other person and placed their hands around their neck. They didn’t apply enough pressure to close off any air and it was not an intent to kill, just to scare them. The person that was attacked was unharmed. Could the person that did the “choking” be considered to have used a deadly weapon?

Asked on August 26, 2011 Florida


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is not an issue that the choking was considered a deadly weapon but rather that in a criminal theory, the choking could be considered an assault and battery at minimum and could be considered in a civil court to be considered a civil assault and battery. If the person choked pressed charges, then you need to have the police report ordered and see how the police officer categorized the events. If the person committing the act is being charged, it is up to his or her attorney to try to have the charges lowered. Ultimately, if you look at this from the perspective of intent, intent to commit a harm or kill must be present for the higher crimes but not necessarily in involuntary manslaughter (if the person actually died).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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