Salt Lake City Criminal Defense
When criminal charges have been filed against someone there are typically witnesses on both sides of the charges. The State will have its witnesses and the defense will have its witnesses. In Utah, there is a very strict law against trying to influence a witness to testify in a certain way.
Witness tampering is a third degree felony in Utah. Witness tampering is defined by statute and includes attempting to induce or cause another person to testify or inform falsely in an official proceeding or investigation or to prevent such an investigation. It also includes inducing another person to withhold testimony, information, and documents, elude the legal process, or absent himself from a proceeding.
False Charges of Witness Tampering
Unfortunately Utah prosecutors many times will use threats of witness tampering charges to prevent a thorough investigation by the defense. Witnesses are to be accessible to both the State and the defense and each have the right to interview the witnesses to find out the facts. So long as the State and the defense act in their investigatory capacity to find out what is going on and does not make threats, promises, bribes, etc., speaking to the witness to find out what he or she knows is fair game.
The State, however, does not always act fairly and will sometimes threaten the defense side with witness tampering charges if information begins to arise which is damaging to the State.
If you are a defendant in a criminal investigation in Utah, be careful in what you say to any potential witness about the case. The best thing you can do is hire an experienced Criminal Defense to advise and counsel you throughout your case and to take the appropriate measures to conduct an investigation of your case.
At Salcido Law Firm we say Get Protected! to all of our clients by bringing us on your side to defend your interests. If you are facing a witness tampering charge in Salt Lake City, Provo, or Ogden, call us for more information.