Some Violent Crimes cases such as Intimidation of a witness rely heavily on a particular witness to take the stand and testify. Because of the importance of their testimony, the witness or victim of a crime maybe be intimated by the defendant into not testifying. terroristic threats If it is discovered that a defendant committed this act, they can face a charge of intimidation of a witness, which in the Commonwealth of Pa, is a felony which can carry a lengthy prison sentence depending on the circumstances of that case. The question then becomes what acts constitute intimidating a witness. In order to answer that, we need to look at what the statute says and what judges of past cases involving this charge say constitutes intimidation. The statute states that a person is guilty of intimidation if, “with the intent to or with the knowledge that his conduct will obstruct, impede, impair, prevent or interfere with the administration of criminal justice, he intimidates or attempts to intimidate any witness or victim to absent himself from any proceeding or investigation to which he has been legally summoned.” This definition is very broad and can encompass a number of behaviors that border on the edge of intimidation but do not actually cross that line.
For example in Violent Crimes cases such as Intimidation of a witness, does paying a witness to not testify constitute intimidation? Well a recent court case made its way up to the superior court of Pennsylvania that dealt with this issue. Voluntary Manslaughter In the case of Com. v Von Evans, the appellant was convicted on the charge of intimidation of a witness because he tried to have his girlfriend at the time reach out the victim and offer her money not to testify. The girlfriend was never able to get a hold of the victim, but the Commonwealth still charged him under this statute. The superior court however vacated this charge because the Com. was not able to establish that the mere offer of paying the victim to not testify was enough to constitute intimidation. The court found that there was no underlying intent to intimidate the witness. Due to the seriousness and intricacies of the details surrounding the definition of the statute and the circumstances of cases involving this charge, it is important to have adequate legal representation if you have been accused of intimidating a witness. The attorneys at the Law offices of Kelly and Conte can provide the necessary representation in order to help you have the best possible resolution of your case.