Witness intimidation does not have to involve a person threatening to kill the witness if they say something in court, it could encompass all types of activities.
In some cases, such as domestic dispute charges, contacting the other party to try and work things out may lead to a criminal charge for intimidation.
Even if the defendant did not willfully obstruct the proceeding, they may be charged if they acted in reckless disregard of the impact of their conduct.
This also applies to anyone who misleads, intimidates or harasses a witness.
110–177, § 205(1)(C), substituted “20 years” for “10 years”.
110–177, § 205(2), substituted “20 years” for “ten years” in concluding provisions.
Meanwhile, the offense is a felony, and as a general rule, you should always make the Commonwealth prove its case when you are charged with a felony.
A true witness intimidation case is one where the defendant tells someone who knows something about a criminal offense that something bad is going to happen to them if they testify.
While intimidation of a witness conjures up images of a gangster threatening a witness with a beating if he testifies against him in court, most prosecutions for this crime are not so obvious.
In Massachusetts, law enforcement and district attorney’s offices routinely charge those accused of assault and battery, rape, armed robbery, etc., with witness intimidation if the accused allegedly urged the alleged victim not to contact the police.
The police have also been charging those accused of domestic assault and battery with intimidation of a witness if the accused attempted to prevent the spouse from calling the police.
If you have been charged with intimidation of a witness, you may be somewhat confused and alarmed by the accusation.
You may be wondering how anything you have done or said could be construed by someone in law enforcement as deliberately intimidating.