Witness Tampering Defense Lawyer in San Diego
If You Are Accused of Witness Tampering, Protect Yourself
Witness tampering is known as "Dissuading or Intimidating a Witness or Victim" according to California Penal Code. If someone is accused of tampering with a witness, the prosecution will decide whether to charge the person with a misdemeanor or a felony. Either way, those facing witness-tampering charges will be sentenced to harsh penalties by the court.
If you are accused of witness tampering, speak to a San Diego criminal defense specialist as soon as possible. The attorneys at jD LAW, P.C., can help you better understand this law, and provide you with the solid defense you need. Please call (760) 630-2000 to set up a free consultation today.
California Law on Dissuading a Witness
According to California Penal Code 136.1, a person can be charged with dissuading a witness if he knowingly tried to interfere with a witness’ testimony during the course of a judicial proceeding. A person may also be charged with this crime if he tried to prevent the crime from being reported to the police, or tried to interfere with the prosecution or arrest process.
Most often, this offense is charged as a misdemeanor. However, there are some instances in which it is charged as a felony.
If the witness tampering was part of a conspiracy or involved the use of a weapon, it will automatically be charged as a felony. If the individual found tampering with a witness was hired by someone else to do so, or had previously been charged with witness tampering, it will also result in an automatic felony charge.
The witness tampering does not need to be successful in order for a charge to be laid. If you even attempt to stop a crime from being reported, or try to keep a witness from testifying, you can still be charged with witness tampering.
Penalties for Witness Tampering
When witness tampering is charged as a misdemeanor, a conviction can result in up to one year in county jail. A maximum fine of up to $1,000 will likely be part of the sentence. In addition, the person convicted for the original crime will also be banned from owning or acquiring firearms for up to ten years, even if they were not a part of the tampering charge.
Those convicted of felony witness tampering face more severe consequences. A sentence may include 16 months to four years in California state prison. A maximum fine of $10,000 may also be levied by the courts. If convicted of a felony charge, you will have a lifetime ban on owning any firearms.
If a firearm was used during the course of the crime, California’s enhanced sentencing guidelines will apply. Those charged with tampering with a witness while using a firearm will have one to 10 years in state prison added to their sentence. Those found guilty of tampering with a witness in connection to gang activity will be facing California’s gang enhancement. This can include an additional seven years to life in state prison. Like other sentencing enhancements, this will be added on top of any penalty already sentenced and will need to be served consecutively, or after the initial sentence is served.
Get the Defense You Need from a Criminal Defense Specialist
If you have been charged with witness tampering, contact jD LAW, P.C., today at (760) 630-2000. As a former narcotics investigator for the LAPD and a board-certified criminal defense specialist, attorney James N. Dicks knows the best defenses for witness tampering charges. Call our team today for your best chance at keeping your freedom and avoiding a criminal record. Your initial consultation is free.
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