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Tampering with a Witness

Tampering with a Witness in Florida

Florida Statute §914.22(1) states that a person may be charged with tampering with informants, victims, or witnesses if they:

Use physical force, threats or an attempted threat, uses intimidation, engages in wrongful conduct with another person, offers pecuniary gain or benefits to someone else;

With an intention to induce or cause an individual to:

Withhold documents, records, testimony or other forms of evidence from official proceedings or investigations

Conceal, mutilate, destroy, or alter evidence seeking to affect its availability or integrity for usage in official proceedings or investigations;

Produce evidence in official proceedings or investigations or evade subpoenas requesting them to appear;

Prevent, delay, or hinder the proper communication of important information that's related to a violation of crime related to release, parole, or probation to judges or law enforcement officers; or testify in an untruthful manner during an official proceeding or investigation

Specific Intent Crimes

Specific intent crimes include witness tampering and involves a crime where an individual intends to prevent, delay, or hinder communication of proper information regarding crimes to authorized law enforcement officers.

Applicable Penalties

Since witness tampering falls under derivative crimes, penalties are dependent on the underlying crimes that have been committed.

Therefore, penalties are imposed after considering whether the actual underlying charges involve the prosecution or investigation of a:

Capital Felony

Life Felony

First Degree Felony

Second Degree Felony

Third Degree Felony 

When underlying crime is a misdemeanor proceeding or investigation

This offense is a Felony of the Third Degree.

If found guilty of this offense, the court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:

Fine not exceeding $5000

Probation period not exceeding 5 years

Imprisonment sentence not exceeding 5 years 

When underlying crime is a felony proceeding or investigation of the Third Degree

This offense is a Felony of the Second Degree. If found guilty of this offense, the court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:

Fine not exceeding $10000

Probation period not exceeding 15 years

Imprisonment sentence not exceeding 15 years 

When underlying crime is a felony proceeding or investigation of the Second Degree

This offense is a Felony of the Second Degree. If found guilty of this offense, the court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:

Fine not exceeding $10000

Probation period not exceeding 30 years

Imprisonment sentence not exceeding 30 years

When underlying crime is a felony proceeding or investigation of the First Degree

This offense is a Felony of the First Degree. If found guilty of this offense, the court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:

Fine not exceeding $10000

Probation period not exceeding 30 years

Imprisonment sentence not exceeding 30 years

When underlying crime is a Life or Capital Felony Proceeding or Investigation

This offense is a Life Felony. If found guilty of this offense, the court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:

Fine not exceeding $15000

Probation period extending to a life sentence

Imprisonment sentence extending to a life sentence 

Applicable Defenses

Unofficial Proceedings or Investigation

In case the proceedings or investigation is of an unofficial nature, like disciplinary investigations conducted by schools, retaliating against witnesses is not considered to be witness tampering.  

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone

If you've been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My initial consultation is free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.

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