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Posted by / 04-Dec-2017 01:53

Intimidating a witness ma

On October 6, 2017, the Supreme Judicial Court issued its opinion in Commonwealth v.Muckle, holding that the witness intimidation statute can only be prosecuted in the District and Municipal Courts (as opposed to the Superior Court), in cases where the alleged victim is a "witness or juror." The SJC in Muckle ruled that where the alleged victim falls into any of the numerous other categories of persons, the prosecutor can only proceed by indictment, which is a much more involved procedure.

An experienced attorney may be able to lessen or eliminate the severity of the consequences depending on the circumstances.Intimidation of a witness can be applied outside of any other criminal charges.For example, if someone threatens to call the police on you, and you tear the phone off the wall, you can be charged with intimidation of a witness under Massachusetts law.Moreover, where statements are involved there is often a question as to whether those statements were obtained lawfully, and whether those statements are admissible in court.There are many very technical rules that govern what statements are admissible, and where "Miranda rights" are involved, you are entitled to a hearing on the question of whether the police scrupulously honored your constitutional rights. That might be because police sometimes use the witness intimidation statute liberally to create leverage against a person they might otherwise only be able to charge with minor offenses.

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