What is Witness Tampering:
Witness Tampering is a frequent problem that occurs in criminal cases. Here’s what happens: The case, your case, is going perfectly well. Suddenly, the phone rings. “Hello?” “Hi. This is the prosecutor. Did you know your client has been speaking with the key witness and telling the witness not to go to court? I am going to indict your client next week!”
Witness Tampering occurs when you, believing that an official proceeding or investigation is pending, attempt to induce or otherwise cause a person to:
- Testify falsely;
- Withhold testimony or information;
- Elude legal process summonsing the witness to provide evidence;
- Be absent from any proceeding to which the witness has been summoned.
Witness Tampering also occurs when:
- You commit an unlawful act in retaliation for anything done by another in his capacity as a witness or informant;
- You solicit or give a benefit to another person not to testify or to withhold testimony.
Witness Tampering is a Class B Felony punishable by 3 ½ to 7 years at the New Hampshire State Prison and a $4,000 fine.
Facing criminal charges is a tremendously stressful experience. However, you need to keep your emotions in check. Don’t discuss your case with anyone, including family or friends. Whatever you tell your attorney is protected by the attorney/client privilege. However, whatever you tell your friends and family are considered admissions and can be used against you later at trial. Whatever you say about your case, even if innocuous, could be considered Witness Tampering by an overly aggressive prosecutor.
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