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Witness Intimidation: Severe Consequences of this Felony in California (PC 136.1(a))

October 4, 2022

Witness Intimidation is a serious crime in California. Call the best criminal defense lawyers in Orange County, California.

Witness Intimidation: A Serious Felony in California (PC 136.1(a))

Witness intimidation PC 136.1(a) is a criminal felony in the state of California.

This blog post will discuss witness intimidation, examples of witness intimidation, and the consequences of a conviction of the charge.

What is the Definition of Witness Intimidation?

The legal definition of witness intimidation, according to California Penal Code 136.0, is when someone tries to stop or dissuade a witness by using force or threats.

Witness intimidation is the crime of attempting to influence a witness’s testimony in a criminal trial. Witness intimidation can be done through threats, violence, or other means.

The offense can also be charged if the defendant tries to prevent a witness from testifying in court.

What is the Definition of Witness Intimidation under PC 136.1(c)?

Aggravated witness intimidation under Penal Code Section 136.1(c) is a severe crime.

The crime is a felony and cannot be reduced to a misdemeanor. A conviction under this section can range from 7 years to life in prison. 

In addition, aggravated witness intimidation under Section 136.1(c) is a “serious felony,” commonly referred to as a “strike” under the state’s “3 Strikes” law.

A “strike” is a serious or violent felony that can result in a much longer prison sentence if the defendant is convicted of another felony.

What are Examples of Witness Intimidation?

Examples of witness intimidation include:

  • Asking the witness not to testify in court
  • Asking the witness to change their story and drop by charges
  • Making threats against a witness’s family
  • Damaging the witness’s property
  • Offering the witness money to change their testimony
  • Threatening to expose embarrassing information about the witness
  • Threatening to harm the witness or their family if they testify
  • Threatening to damage the witness’s property if they testify
  • Offering the witness money not to testify
  • Intimidating the witness with physical violence

If the witness is a victim of a crime, the defendant can be charged with witness intimidation even if they did not directly threaten the witness.

What is the Punishment for Witness Intimidation under 136.1(a)?

Witness intimidation is a felony in California. The punishment for witness intimidation can include:

  • Up to three years in prison
  • A fine of up to $10,000
  • Both imprisonment and a fine

What Should I Do If I Have a Witness Intimidation Charge?

If you have been charged with witness intimidation, you need the criminal defense lawyers at ALL Trial Lawyers by your side. The attorneys at ALL Trial Lawyers are trial attorneys with years of experience.

They know the law and are not afraid to take your case to trial.

In addition, they have a strong reputation among judges and prosecutors throughout Southern California, which has delivered tremendous victories for their clients.

Our ultimate goal is to provide the best results that can be achieved in your case— whether by way of outright dismissal, a favorable plea bargain deal, or an acquittal of the charges at trial.

With ALL Trial Lawyers by your side, you can rest assured that the criminal team will be giving you their all.

Call (866) 811-4255 right now for your free consultation.

We have an office located near you. We have experience fighting cases in Orange County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County, and San Diego County.

If you have been accused or charged of a crime, you must speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.

What Does the Statute Say?

“136.1. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), any person who does any of the following is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison:

(1) Knowingly and maliciously prevents or dissuades any witness or victim from attending or giving testimony at any trial, proceeding, or inquiry authorized by law.

(2) Knowingly and maliciously attempts to prevent or dissuade any witness or victim from attending or giving testimony at any trial, proceeding, or inquiry authorized by law.

(3) For purposes of this section, evidence that the defendant was a family member who interceded in an effort to protect the witness or victim shall create a presumption that the act was without malice.”

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