Michigan Witness Tampering Attorneys – Criminal Defense
Witness Tampering Defense Lawyers
The Kronzek Firm’s team of criminal defense attorneys have approximately 100 years of combined legal experience. We represent clients from all walks of life and have earned a reputation for being aggressive and effective criminal defense attorneys. We have defended numerous clients with with witness tampering cases and are experienced in all types of criminal defense.
Bribery of a Witness
Michigan law prohibits an individual from giving or offering to give anything of value to another person for any of these purposes as follows:
a) In order to discourage any person from being a witness and testifying at a present or future official proceeding;
b) For influencing any person’s testimony at a present or future official proceeding;
c) To encourage any person to withhold testimony, avoid legal process, or to falsely testify in a present or future official proceeding.
However, this does not prohibit witnesses from being reimbursed or paid reasonable costs to testify. An “official proceeding” is a hearing before a judicial, legislative, administrative, other governmental agency, or person authorized to hear evidence under oath.
Threats or Intimidation of a Witness
Individuals are also prohibited from doing the following by intimidation or threat:
- Discouraging or attempting to discourage any person from attending, testifying at, or giving information at a present or future official proceeding;
- Influencing or attempting to influence testimony at a present or future official proceeding;
- Encouraging or attempting to encourage any individual to withhold testimony, avoid legal process, or to falsely testify in a present or future official proceeding.
At trial, an affirmative defense to a charge of witness bribery or intimidation is if the defendant shows by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely to have happened than not), that the defendant’s actions were only lawful conduct and the sole intention was to induce, encourage, or cause the person to provide truthful testimony or evidence.
Interference with a Witness
An individual is prohibited from willfully impeding, interfering with, or preventing a witness from attending, testifying, or providing information in or for a present or future official proceeding. This includes attempting to impede or obstruct the witness as well.
Regardless of whether an official proceeding is pending or actually takes place, or whether the person has been subpoenaed to appear, the key is that the defendant must know or have reason to know the other person could be a witness at any official proceeding. This language provides an important safeguard against criminalizing behavior not intended to affect the witness’s ability to testify, attend, or provide information at a proceeding, but nevertheless has that effect.
Penalties for Witness Tampering
A person who engages in witness tampering may be charged with a felony with a maximum penalty of 4 years in prison, a fine up to $5,000.00, or both.
If the tampering occurs in a criminal case where the defendant’s maximum penalty is more than 10 years in prison or life in prison or any term of years, then the person may be charged with a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine up to $20,000.00, or both.
For tampering that involves attempting to commit or committing a crime, or threatening to injure or kill any person or to cause property damage, the person may be charged with a felony, with a maximum penalty up to 15 years in prison, a fine up to $25,000.00, or both.
Retaliation Against a Witness
An individual who attempts or threatens to retaliate, or retaliates against a person for being a witness in an official proceeding may be charged with a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a fine up to $20,000.00, or both. Retaliation is (a) Committing or attempting to commit a crime against any person; (b) Threatening to injure or kill any person; or (c) Threatening to cause property damage.
Let’s Get Started with your Defense
If you have a Michigan witness tampering case, avoiding prison time and expensive fines is vital for those accused of a crime. Our lawyers have decades of criminal defense experience. Call us today and get some peace of mind. The Kronzek Firm PLC offers a free consultation at (866) 7-NoJail for those needing to hire an attorney. Our attorneys are available by appointment and 24/7 for emergency situations. Toll Free (866) 766-5245