Intimidating a witness

Thanks to the Constitution, it is the burden of the Commonwealth to prove the defendant acted “with the specific intent to impede, instruct, delay, or otherwise interfere with a criminal investigation.” What’s more, the prosecution must prove this .

While this may sound fair and legally sound, unfortunately, another portion of the statute makes this point almost moot.

The attempted persuasion may occur through direct or indirect (1) threats or attempts to cause physical, emotional, or economic injury or property damage; (2) offering, promising, or conveying a gift or anything of value; or (3) misleading, intimidating, or harassing the protected person.

If you have been charged with the crime of Intimidation of a Witness, Juror or Law Enforcement Official, you should immediately consult with a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney who can explain the charges and protect your rights.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268, Section 13B makes it a crime to willfully or recklessly engage in certain acts in an attempt to persuade certain persons who are connected to criminal proceedings, including witnesses, jurors, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and others.

For that reason, skilled criminal defense attorney Kathleen Mc Carthy is well-armed to reach a plea bargain, or even dismissal, in many cases. First, the defendant must directly (or indirectly) threaten or attempt to cause emotional, physical, economic or property harm on a person considered a “witness.” However, if it can be proven that the defendant offered a gift, reward, or bribe to the “witness” or harassed the witness in any way, their actions can be construed as intimidation in court. The second parameter needed to support this charge is the definition of the term “witness.” The person on the receiving end of the defendant’s actions must be a witness potential witness to a crime, violation of bail, or violation of parole or a police officer, judge, juror, grand juror, prosecutor, federal agent, defense attorney, clerk, court officer, probation officer, parole officer, and the list goes on.

Boston, Massachusetts intimidation of a witness defense attorney Kathleen Mc Carthy is here to help you avoid serving time in jail and paying costly penalties and fines. The grey nature of this definition allows police and prosecutors to twist the statute in their favor, time and time again. As you can see, anyone remotely involved in a court proceeding could be considered a “witness” for the purpose of prosecution.

The chilling video shows one of the girls placing the crying baby in the refrigerator and closing the door.

The two girls are laughing, as one of them opens the refrigerator door, which reveals the screaming baby lying on her back inside, and then takes the child out.

38-2223, and amendments thereto;(B) causing a complaint, indictment or information to be sought and prosecuted, or causing a violation of probation, parole or assignment to a community correctional services program to be reported and prosecuted, and assisting in its prosecution;(C) causing a civil action to be filed and prosecuted and assisting in its prosecution; or(D) arresting or causing or seeking the arrest of any person in connection with the victimization of a victim.(b) Aggravated intimidation of a witness or victim is intimidation of a witness or victim, as defined in subsection (a), when the:(1) Act is accompanied by an expressed or implied threat of force or violence against a witness, victim or other person or the property of any witness, victim or other person;(2) act is in furtherance of a conspiracy;(3) act is committed by a person who has been previously convicted of corruptly influencing a witness or has been convicted of a violation of this section or any federal or other state's statute which, if the act prosecuted was committed in this state, would be a violation of this section;(4) witness or victim is under 18 years of age; or(5) act is committed for pecuniary gain or for any other consideration by a person acting upon the request of another person.(c) (1) Intimidation of a witness or victim is a class B person misdemeanor.(2) Aggravated intimidation of a witness or victim is a severity level 6, person felony.

Witness intimidation means the threatening of a crucial court witnesses by pressure or extortion to compel him/her to not to testify.

For example, Massachusetts courts have upheld convictions of Intimidation for pointing a cell phone camera at a witness waiting to testify; and even for threats made after the close of the evidence at trial but before the jury had returned with a verdict.

Additionally, Massachusetts prosecutors are now using this statute to charge persons with Intimidation if they are interviewed and lie or mislead the police in their criminal investigation.

Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268, Section 13B punishes those convicted of the crime of Intimidation with imprisonment to the House of Corrections for up to 2.5 years or state prison for up to 10 years.