Section 315A of the Criminal Code makes it a criminal offence to “choke”, “strangle”, or “suffocate” a person in a domestic setting. It carries a maximum penalty of 7 years’ imprisonment.
The offence was introduced by the Palaszczuk Government on 5 May 2016 following a recommendation made by the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland.
The Criminal Code does not provide a definition of ‘chokes, suffocates or strangles’ and there has been uncertainty about what level of conduct is required to fall within the provision. For instance, is external compression on the throat or windpipe sufficient, or does the complainant’s breathing need to be affected?