What’s the very first thing that most people do after they get arrested? Panic. Their entire world has suddenly been upended, and they’re scared. That fear can lead people to do foolish things — like trying to interfere with a witness.
Interfering with a witness, or “witness tampering,” is a serious offense in its own right, so you definitely don’t want it added to whatever charges you’re already facing. Witness tampering is any purposeful action that you may take that’s designed to stop a witness from testifying or cooperating with an investigation.
That means, you cannot:
- Call your spouse or partner from jail and ask them to change their story and lie about what happened or refuse to cooperate in a domestic violence case.
- Threaten someone who informed on you to the police with violence unless they take a long vacation to parts unknown until your trial is over.
- Offer someone a bribe, whether it’s in the form of cash, goods, services or some other kind of benefit, not to testify against you or talk to the police.
- Doxx someone who has cooperated with authorities by putting their private information on social media with the idea of causing others in the community to pressure them not to testify.
- Physically prevent (or ask someone to physically prevent) a witness from appearing in court or another legal proceeding.
While the phrase “snitches get stitches” is a popular maxim, the reality is that the state aggressively seeks to protect its witnesses and informants. Don’t add to your troubles by trying to tamper with the witness in your criminal case. Call an experienced attorney instead.