HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Department of Justice says about 200 people have been charged under a new law that makes strangling a spouse, partner or family member a felony offense.

Last year, Montana became the 45th state to pass a law against strangulation in the home. Previously, prosecutors charged offenders with aggravated assault, which they said created a high bar for conviction.

The Department of Justice conducted a survey that found at least 197 people have been charged with felony strangulation in the past year.

Attorney General Tim Fox spokeswoman Anastasia Burton says the survey did not ask how many of those charges resulted in convictions.

Yellowstone County had the most offenses, at 69, followed by Cascade, Lewis and Clark and Missoula counties.