If the defendant is involved in witness tampering committed by another person, he also can be charged with a crime.For instance, if the defendant pays someone to contact a witness or is involved in planning a threat or attack on a witness, he could be charged with witness intimidation or conspiracy to commit the crime.Defendants can sometimes get themselves in trouble with the belief that talking things out with a witness may help resolve the matter or convince the witness to see things differently.A defendant should never do this alone (or without an attorney present) as it can easily result in the witness perceiving the conversation as an attempt to influence testimony.What if a witness in a criminal case tells the prosecutor that the defendant has tried to influence or interfere with the witness’s testimony?If a charge of witness tampering or intimidation is filed, the prosecutor will have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused intended to influence the witness’s testimony and engaged in acts listed in the state’s witness tampering or intimidation statute.
An employer could threaten an employee’s job or promise a promotion if the employee will testify in a certain way or refuse to testify.
Interfering with a witness’s testimony or cooperation in a criminal case is a criminal act that can be misdemeanor or a felony.
Intimidating or tampering with a witness involves trying to get a witness to lie, say certain things under oath, alter or destroy evidence, or not testify or cooperate with authorities at all.
Lawyers often tell their clients not to talk about a case with anyone, but this also is not realistic if two people live together or were present at the same event and are involved in trial preparation together.
Even if a witness denies being influenced by the defendant, another person or the prosecutor can accuse the defendant of improper influence.