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What is Witness Intimidation in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, witness intimidation is when someone intentionally tries to influence a witness in order to interfere with a criminal investigation, criminal trial, or other criminal proceeding. The attempted persuasion by the defendant may have occurred through one of the following: threats, caused physical injury, emotional injury, or economic injury to, caused property damage to, conveyed a gift, offer, or promise of anything of value to, misleading, intimidation, and/or harassment of, a witness. Whether any of the previous acts occurred directly or indirectly, or whether they were successful in doing so, the person may still be charged with witness intimidation.

If you have been charged with witness intimidation, it is best that you hire a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney to fight for you. Being convicted of witness intimidation could result in large fines, or even jail time.

What is a Witness?

Generally speaking, a witness is a person who saw or heard the crime in question in real time, or has other important information about the crime itself or the defendant.

There are three different types of court witnesses:

  1. Lay Witness
    • someone who watched the crime occur, or saw the events leading up to or after the crime who are called on to describe what they saw
  2. Expert Witness
    • someone who is educated in a certain field, and they are called on only to speak about their area of expertise
      • Examples: Psychologist, Forensic Scientist, etc.
  3. Character Witness
    • someone who knows the people involved in the case (alleged victim, defendant, etc.)
    • asked to speak to the alleged victim’s or defendant’s character
      • Examples: neighbor, friend, family member

What Needs to be Proven, for a Defendant to be Convicted of Witness Intimidation?

  1. That the defendant, either directly or indirectly, made a threat or attempted to influence the witness in some way;
  2. That the alleged victim was a witness, juror, or law enforcement official at any stage of a criminal investigation, grand jury proceeding, trial, or other criminal proceeding; and
  3. That the defendant did so with the intent to impede, obstruct, delay, harm, punish or otherwise interfere with the criminal proceedings

In order for a defendant to be convicted of witness intimidation, the state must prove each of the above beyond a reasonable doubt.

Is There Jail Time for Witness Intimidation?

If you are convicted, witness intimidation carries up to 2.5 years in jail, up to 10 years in state prison, or it could result in a fine ranging from $1,000 – $5,000.

Possible Defenses Against Witness Intimidation

  • Lack of intent
    • The defendant did not intend to impede, obstruct, delay, harm, punish or otherwise interfere with the criminal proceedings
  • Bias
    • Often times, there will be animosity between the alleged victim and defendant in any criminal case
    • A defense attorney can argue that witness intimidation never occurred, and that the alleged victim is only claiming that because they want the defendant to suffer by being convicted

Witness intimidation is a serious offense in Massachusetts, and if you are charged with the crime, you need a knowledgeable and skilled criminal defense attorney to help argue your case. I will do everything I can to defend you in court. I will leave no stone unturned and I will take your case personally.

Call or text me today at (617) 295-7500 and let’s get started on your defense!





Although I am an attorney, I am not your attorney.  Please do not rely on anything on this page as legal advice because any specific advice would depend on your situation.  Any results posted on this page are not guarantees of outcomes in your case.

Boston Attorney

The court system is stressful, whether you’re being charged with a crime, being sued, suing someone, or fighting for your ability to stay and work in this country. You need someone who appreciates this and can dedicate the time not only to represent you effectively in court but to guide you through the process.

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