Tampering With A Witness In The First Degree: New York Penal Law 215.13

by ECL Writer
What Is A Criminal Complaint?

Tampering with a witness in the first degree is a serious crime in the state of New York, punishable by significant fines and lengthy prison sentences. This offense is defined under New York Penal Law 215.13 and involves intentionally and unlawfully engaging in conduct that would influence a witness or potential witness in a legal proceeding. This can include offering bribes, making threats, or engaging in other forms of intimidation to prevent a witness from testifying truthfully or participating in legal proceedings. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore the elements of the crime of tampering with a witness in the first degree, the penalties for conviction, and some examples of the types of behaviors that could lead to a charge of this offense.

Don’t be misled. Do not hesitate. The highest serious felony one can be charged with, aside from the most severe offenses listed in New York Penal Code 70.02, is First Degree Tampering with a Witness. If you are arrested for violating New York Penal Law 215.13, First Degree Tampering with a Witness, you should expect that the local District Attorney’s Office prosecuting the case will give your case top priority, regardless of whether the investigation is the result of a domestic dispute, the alleged crime involves business associates or strangers, or both.

Whether bail is established at your arraignment, a court issues an Order of Protection, or your case drags on for a few months or longer in the New York State criminal justice system, if you are found guilty of First Degree Witness Tampering you will unquestionably end up behind bars. If you have the kindest of souls, it makes no difference. Even if your criminal defense attorney honestly portrays you as a dedicated parent and community leader, it is meaningless. Any conviction under New York Penal Code 215.13, a class “B” felony, entails a minimum of one to three years in jail and a potential maximum of eight and third to twenty-five years.

After reading the aforementioned exposure upon conviction, it’s important to give the consequences of first-degree witness tampering some thought. Someone with a criminal record would receive such a punishment, am I correct? No, is the clear-cut response. This sentencing scheme is applicable to first-time offenders. The bottom line is that you will end up serving your sentence in a prison cell filled only with remorse and anxiety if you don’t hire the greatest criminal defense law company or criminal defense attorney you think can defend you against this offense.

Understanding The  Element Of NY PENAL LAW 215.13

In New York, the severity of the crime rises with each felony level of witness tampering. Your exposure following a conviction increases from Third Degree Tampering with a Witness to First Degree Tampering with a Witness, and the burden of proof for the District Attorney to establish each crime’s elements increases.

First Degree Witness Tampering can be understood, though not in a legal sense, by first examining the lower offenses and then giving NY Penal Code 215.13 a shot in the arm. In contrast to Third and Second Degree Tampering with a Witness, which only calls for the threat of or actual infliction of bodily harm, First Degree Tampering with a Witness takes things a step further. A person must purposefully inflict “severe physical injury” on another person in order to attempt or actually impede, delay, or obstruct that person from testifying or appearing at a proceeding, according to PL 215.13.

Contrary to the lesser criterion frequently associated with misdemeanor assault offenses, this level of injury necessitates much more serious damage. Namely, long-term, severe health problems or deformities. A split lip or broken finger would not cross this threshold, but inducing blindness or taking out a dozen teeth would.

The consequences are severe regardless of the type of harm, whether it is a “serious physical injury” as defined by law or not. Incarceration? Of course. the revocation of a professional qualification or license? Most likely. a negative effect on your legal position as a foreign national working or studying in New York or elsewhere in the United States? Be prepared for difficulties.

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