Definition intimidating witness
It is an affirmative defense to witness tampering if the defendant’s sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.
Penalties for Witness Tampering, Intimidation, Bribing, or Interference If convicted of any kind of witness tampering, witness intimidation, witness interference, or bribing a witness, it is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or ,000 in fines.
Witness intimidation appears to take two different forms: specific threats against a witness, and the establishment of an environment of intimidation and cultural demonization of those who testify or act as informants to law enforcement.
In the former case, witness intimidation is perpetrated by individual criminal defendants and their associates; in the latter, it’s become a cultural phenomenon with its roots in popular music. be confronted with the witnesses against him.” In practice, this means that defendants are told in advance the particulars of those who will testify for the prosecution, potentially facilitating improper or intimidating communications with witnesses.
A prime example of witness intimidation through cultural pressure is the campaign that gained national prominence when a DVD by that name was produced and distributed in the Baltimore, Maryland area in 2004.
However, if an affirmative or special defense is raised, that is a rare exception that requires the defendant to prove it.
Key Provision of Witness Tampering It doesn’t matter whether an official proceeding is pending, actually takes place, or the person has a subpoena to appear.
They key is that the defendant must the other person could be a witness at any official proceeding.
Defenses to Witness Tampering It is not unlawful for an attorney to communicate with a witness as long as it is within the lawful performance of his duties and the contact is permitted by statute.
It is not “threatening or intimidating” to communicate a potential lawful action to a witness, such as you are going to sue them or file a police report (as long as you would lawfully be permitted to do such things, they were not frivolous, and were not intended to harass the witness).