Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Federal Tampering with a Witness, Victim, or an Informant Charges

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Federal Criminal Law » Federal Tampering with a Witness, Victim, or an Informant Charges

The Federal crime of Federal Tampering with a Witness, Victim, or an Informant is set forth in 18 U.S. Code § 1512, which provides as follows:


Puryear Law offers free in-office consultations, as well as emergency after-hours consultations by phone for people with cases in Iowa and Illinois. See our consultation options.

(a)
(1) Whoever kills or attempts to kill another person, with intent to—
(A) prevent the attendance or testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(B) prevent the production of a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or
(C) prevent the communication by any person to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
shall be punished as provided in paragraph (3).
(2) Whoever uses physical force or the threat of physical force against any person, or attempts to do so, with intent to—
(A) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(B) cause or induce any person to—
(i) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;
(ii) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the integrity or availability of the object for use in an official proceeding;
(iii) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or
(iv) be absent from an official proceeding to which that person has been summoned by legal process; or
(C) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, supervised release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
shall be punished as provided in paragraph (3).
(3) The punishment for an offense under this subsection is—
(A) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in sections 1111 and 1112;
(B) in the case of—
(i) an attempt to murder; or
(ii) the use or attempted use of physical force against any person;
imprisonment for not more than 30 years; and
(C) in the case of the threat of use of physical force against any person, imprisonment for not more than 20 years.
(b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to—
(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(2) cause or induce any person to—
(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;
(B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding;
(C) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or
(D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or
(3) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation [1] supervised release,,[1] parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
(c) Whoever corruptly—
(1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or
(2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.
(d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from—
(1) attending or testifying in an official proceeding;
(2) reporting to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation supervised release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
(3) arresting or seeking the arrest of another person in connection with a Federal offense; or
(4) causing a criminal prosecution, or a parole or probation revocation proceeding, to be sought or instituted, or assisting in such prosecution or proceeding;
or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 3 years, or both.
(e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant’s sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.
(f) For the purposes of this section—
(1) an official proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the offense; and
(2) the testimony, or the record, document, or other object need not be admissible in evidence or free of a claim of privilege.
(g) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, no state of mind need be proved with respect to the circumstance—
(1) that the official proceeding before a judge, court, magistrate judge, grand jury, or government agency is before a judge or court of the United States, a United States magistrate judge, a bankruptcy judge, a Federal grand jury, or a Federal Government agency; or
(2) that the judge is a judge of the United States or that the law enforcement officer is an officer or employee of the Federal Government or a person authorized to act for or on behalf of the Federal Government or serving the Federal Government as an adviser or consultant.
(h) There is extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section.
(i) A prosecution under this section or section 1503 may be brought in the district in which the official proceeding (whether or not pending or about to be instituted) was intended to be affected or in the district in which the conduct constituting the alleged offense occurred.
(j) If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a trial of a criminal case, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.
(k) Whoever conspires to commit any offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy

As can be seen from the above section of the United States Code, a witness, victim, or informant tampering charge is a serious matter, and the maximum penalty can include death.  Even in cases where the Federal death penalty is not applicable, a lengthy prison term can be imposed.

Any person who is accused of Federal Tampering with a Witness, Victim, or an Informant is well advised to seek an attorney at once.


Request More Information

Making intelligent and informed decisions about your case is vital. Enter your email address to learn more about your legal options.



Tags for this legal blog article: , ,


Related legal blog articles:

Legal Representation in Iowa or Illinois

See our Consultation Options to get the legal representation you need.
 

Request More Information

Enter your email address to receive information about legal representation from Puryear Law.


 

Map and Directions to Puryear Law

Puryear Law P.C.
3719 Bridge Ave
Suite 6
Davenport, IA 52807
Iowa Phone: (563)362-0901
Illinois Phone: (309)948-6699
Toll-Free Phone: (888)919-3719

Click the map shown below for turn-by-turn directions to Puryear Law's office. Map and Directions to Puryear Law