The Boston Globe now reports that the man who made these comments has been arrested and charged with the crime of witness intimidation.In March of 2006 the legislature passed a bill targeted at decreasing gang violence and giving police more tools to arrest and prosecute gang members who terrorize the community with violent crimes.To convict a person under this statute, the government must prove the following three things, each beyond a reasonable doubt: If the Commonwealth wants to prove that the defendant “harassed” another person, it must show that the defendant engaged in an act that was directed at a specific person or persons, and that (a) act seriously alarms or annoys that person or persons, and (b) would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.The harassing “act” could occur through mail, e-mail, internet communications, fax communications, or telephone or other telecommunications devices. Defenses to Charges of Criminal Intimidation In defending a client charged with criminal intimidation, a defense lawyer may show that the Commonwealth has not met its burden of proof on any or all of the three elements it must prove to get a conviction.This week the media has done extensive reporting on the trial of 2 men who are accused of murdering 4 people in Mattapan during a drug deal gone wrong.Allegedly at one point during the trial a manwho was observing the trial got up and called one of the witnesses who was testifying a rat and a snitch.
To prove that the defendants acted recklessly, the Commonwealth must show that the defendant knew, or should have known, that his or her actions were very likely to impede, obstruct, delay, or otherwise interfere with the proceeding, and that the defendant ran that risk and acted anyway. However, criminal intimidation does not need to involve a particularly threatening act. Penalties Criminal intimidation is a felony punishable by (i) up to 2 ½ years in jail or in a house of correction, (ii) up to 10 years in state prison, (iii) a fine of at least ,000, and up to ,000, or (iv) both a fine and imprisonment.
It was this bill that contained the witness intimidation charge that the man will now face.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268, Section 13B makes it a crime to willfully or recklessly engage in certain acts in an attempt to persuade certain persons who are connected to criminal proceedings, including witnesses, jurors, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and others.
The attempted persuasion may occur through direct or indirect (1) threats or attempts to cause physical, emotional, or economic injury or property damage; (2) offering, promising, or conveying a gift or anything of value; or (3) misleading, intimidating, or harassing the protected person.
A jury must find that each one of these three elements – that the defendant did one of the above acts, that the act affected one of the persons described above, and that the defendant acted either willfully or recklessly – has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt before a defendant can be convicted of criminal intimidation. For example, if a defendant is seen photographing a witness who had testified against him at a hearing earlier the same day, the defendant’s intent to intimidate the witness may be inferred, and could result in a conviction under the statute. 268, § 13), picketing a court to obstruct or influence a proceeding (G. Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer 6If you or someone you know has been charged with intimidation of a witness or other act of criminal intimidation, contact the Law Offices of Stephen Neyman, P. Attorney Neyman has experience in successfully defending clients against charges of intimidation.
Related Offenses Similar to the crime of witness intimidation or other criminal intimidation, the Massachusetts General Laws also criminalize bribing or attempting to bribe a juror (G. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation at 617-263-6800 or online.