Every day, hundreds of people are tried in front of a judge and jury to determine whether they are guilty or not guilty of charges brought against them. The court system depends on the evidence and witnesses that are brought forth in a case. If a witness claims or makes a statement about the case that is contrary to what he or she actually believes, there is a chance that he or she is either being intimidated by someone who is involved in the case or somebody has tampered with this witness. Someone is guilty of tampering with a witness when he or she contacts the witness with either a threat or a bribe in order to sway his or her testimony or keep him or her out of court altogether.
The same may happen with someone who is not already a witness but may become involved in the case at a later time. Someone who has something to gain or lose in a case may encounter a witness or a potential witness in the case and threaten the individual into either lying or altering his or her testimony, or threaten the individual into not showing up to court or any other proceeding.
Any person who also asks the same of a witness through a bribe can be charged with witness tampering. A bribe is considered any form of benefit that is exchanged for the witness or potential witness’s help in the trial. Witnesses who accept or solicit bribes with the understanding that he or she will alter his or her testimony can be charged with a felony under California law.
If you or someone you know has been charged with tampering with a witness or with accepting or soliciting a bribe during a trial, contact San Jose criminal lawyer Daniel Jensen at (408) 296-4100 to learn more about your legal options.