Intimidating witness charges
Under this act it is an offence to perform an act which is intended to and does intimidate a person who the offender knows or believes to be involved with a criminal case with the intention of disturbing the proceedings. § 1512, which defines it as "Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant." The punishment for such an offense is up to 20 years if physical force was used, attempted, or threatened. The Supreme Court ruled that Section 1512 had been misinterpreted by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, and reversed the decision of the lower court which had found the firm guilty of violating the section.
In the United States, the crime of witness tampering in federal cases is defined by statute at 18 U. The tampering need not have actually been successful in order for it to be criminal. The issue had, to some extent, become moot, because in 2002 the firm had all but dissolved as a result of prosecution on this criminal charge.
The Cambridge Criminal Defense Lawyers at Mahoney Criminal Defense Group can advise you and aggressively defend you in the courts of Massachusetts.
Consider this: A particularly scary mugger would not be charged with intimidating a witness merely for making the victim apprehensive of reporting the crime; the mugger would need to have the intent to dissuade his victim from reporting the crime.Division (A) of this section does not apply to any person who is attempting to resolve a dispute pertaining to the alleged commission of a criminal offense, either prior to or subsequent to the filing of a complaint, indictment, or information, by participating in the arbitration, mediation, compromise, settlement, or conciliation of that dispute pursuant to an authorization for arbitration, mediation, compromise, settlement, or conciliation of a dispute of that nature that is conferred by any of the following: The Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Rules of Superintendence for Municipal Courts and County Courts, the Rules of Superintendence for Courts of Common Pleas, or another rule adopted by the supreme court in accordance with section 5 of Article IV, Ohio Constitution; A local rule of court, including, but not limited to, a local rule of court that relates to alternative dispute resolution or other case management programs and that authorizes the referral of disputes pertaining to the alleged commission of certain types of criminal offenses to appropriate and available arbitration, mediation, compromise, settlement, or other conciliation programs; Whoever violates this section is guilty of intimidation of an attorney, victim, or witness in a criminal case.A violation of division (A) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree. Definition and Elements of the Crime Discouraging a witness or victim from reporting a crime or from testifying about a crime is itself a serious criminal offense under California Penal Code Section 136.1 PC.In order to prove an allegation of Intimidating a Witness or Victim, a prosecutor must be able to establish the following elements: Someone is a victim if there is reason to believe that a federal or state crime was committed or was attempted against him or her.
The witness is not aware that this particular group has a history of going after witnesses who testify against them.