Intimidating a victim
Efforts to influence actual testimony or to induce false statements are governed by Penal Code 137 PC California's law against influencing testimony.There are a variety of legal defenses that your California criminal defense lawyer can present on your behalf.
Prevented / dissuaded / intimidated The important fact to note about these terms is that it doesn't matter whether you are successful in your attempt to prevent, dissuade, or intimidate a victim or witness.: Joe tells Tom that if Steve testifies against him in court, Joe will kill Steve. Even though Steve doesn't know about the threat, Joe is still guilty of violating Penal Code 136.1 PC California's "dissuading a witness" law.Dissuading a witness and its relationship to Penal Code 186.22 PC California's criminal street gang enhancement If the prosecutor proves that you are guilty of violating Penal Code 136.1 PC California's "dissuading a witness" law "for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with any criminal street gang", California's gang enhancement kicks in.A conviction under Penal Code 186.22 PC California's criminal street gang enhancement automatically imposes a seven-year-to-life state prison sentence if you are found guilty of violating Penal Code 136.1 PC.As Palm Springs criminal defense attorney Michael Scafiddi explains, "It's my job to ensure that false allegations are shown for what they really are -- unjust attempts to punish an innocent victim." Insufficient evidence When the prosecutor doesn't have some type of corroborating evidence..example, a letter, a voice recording, or a video...Penal Code 136.1 PC charges are largely based on "he said, she said"; allegations.Under these circumstances, although your conversation may have intimidated Bob (and even discouraged him from testifying), you didn't knowingly do so and therefore didn't violate Penal Code 136.1 PC.
Similar to the example above, if you are just passing along information that you find helpful..don't intend to cause any harm or obstruct justice in any way..aren't acting maliciously and are not, therefore, violating the law.
As former law enforcement officers and prosecutors, we understand how to investigate a case from all angles.
We know the most effective ways to convince prosecutors, judges, and jurors that there simply isn't enough evidence to convict you of the charge(s).
The following are examples of some of the most common.
Lack of knowledge / intent It bears repeating that if you either don't know the person is a victim or witness or aren't maliciously trying to interfere, you aren't guilty of violating Penal Code 136.1 PC California's "dissuading a witness" law.
: You are speaking with Bob who, unbeknownst to you, is a witness to a crime.