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.
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.
There are also many crimes which have the effect of intimidating someone from testifying (e.g., repeat domestic violence offenses), but these acts are not necessarily criminal witness intimidation.
In the United Kingdom, witness intimidation is covered by Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, section 51.The witness is not aware that this particular group has a history of going after witnesses who testify against them.The witness' friend is aware of this reputation, and desperately tries to warn his friend about the dangers of testifying against this particular organization.One of the better known cases involving Section 1512 is Arthur Andersen LLP v. Examples of witness tampering include American politicians Buddy Cianci, Meg Scott Phipps and Ted Klaudt, convicted in 2001, 20, respectively.In England and Wales, witness intimidation by unlawful means, such as violence, bribery, threats, or improper pressure, is known as Perverting the course of justice.The Cambridge Criminal Defense Lawyers at Mahoney Criminal Defense Group can advise you and aggressively defend you in the courts of Massachusetts.