Witness or Victim Tampering

Tampering with a witness or victim in a criminal case is a class 4 felony. Be careful not to place yourself in the position of being charged with this crime when you try and help out your criminal case or the criminal case of a friend. Even with a small misdemeanor case, the penalty is the same if you violate this hard to define law.

The Basic Definition of Tampering with a Witness or Victim in Denver

Colorado Statute C.R.S. 18-8-707 states, "A person commits tampering with a witness or victim of he intentionally attempts without bribery or threats to induce a witness or victim or a person he believes is to be called to testify as a witness or victim in any official proceeding or who may be called to testify as a witness to or victim of any crime to:

  • Testify falsely; or,
  • Unlawfully withhold any testimony; or,
  • Absent himself from any official proceeding to which he has been legally summoned; or,
  • Avoid legal process summoning him to testify.

In Arapahoe and Douglas County, witness and victim tampering law results from the desire of our society, that courts be fair and impartial. For this to occur, it is critical that both sides be able to have truthful testimony available to them for a trial. Without this, our justice system would suffer terribly.

How the Government Violates Tampering Laws

We have found that police and social service workers across Jefferson and Adams County are some of the biggest violators of this law. Other government officials can influence testimony through threats of taking kids away or that other charges will be filed if a person does not come and testify in favor of the government. So, when talking with government employees, be careful to have a witness present. In Domestic Violence cases, victims often change their version of what occurred upon reflection and when the emotions died down. District Attorneys call this "recanting" and will threaten a victim that if she changes her story, she will be charged with the crime of False Reporting to Police / Authorities. This is a form of witness / victim tampering, although police are never prosecuted.

Who is at Risk of Being Charged with Tampering with a Witness or Victim?

Defendants, family members of defendants, defense attorneys, private investigators and people with an interest in the outcome of a criminal case all have exposure to accusations of Tampering with a victim or witness. Seek experienced legal counsel right away if you or someone you know has been charged with this crime. Never try and explain your side of the story to police, who are only trying to gather information to prosecute you.

So be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.

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