A Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Attorney Explains Witness Tampering
Domestic violence and witness tampering charges both have the ability to destroy lives and when both of these crimes are charged together, the chances of an offender winning the case can decrease. Many people do not understand how a person can be charged with both crimes since they seem to be unrelated. To better understand how a person can be charged with domestic violence and witness tampering at the same time, please continue reading the following article.
Colorado has defined "domestic violence" as "an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship...[and] also includes any other crime against a person, or property,...when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship." C.R.S. 18-6-800.3(1). Domestic violence allegations are not limited to physical acts and can also present as verbal acts and other nonphysical acts such as stalking.
In the state of Colorado if a person is arrested based on allegations of domestic violence, the accuser does not have the ability to drop the charges. This means that if you are falsely accused by someone and the prosecutor does not dismiss the charges, you will likely have to set your case for trial to combat the false allegations.
Witness tampering involves "intentionally attempt[ing] without bribery or threats to induce a witness or victim...to testify falsely or unlawfully withhold any testimony, absent himself from any official proceeding to which he has been legally summoned, or avoid legal process summoning him to testify." See C.R.S. § 18-8-707. Regardless of the severity of the underlying case, any act which is subsequently charged as Witness Tampering will be charged as a class 4 felony. This means that a low level misdemeanor could transform itself into a felony offense regardless of the strength of proof of the misdemeanor offense. The resulting Witness Tampering offense has nothing to do with the underlying allegations of the domestic violence offense and can be more difficult to defend against depending on the circumstances.
If you attempt to influence an accuser or witness after you are arrested for domestic violence, you could easily receive a witness tampering charge, even if your intentions are not malicious. When facing either a domestic violence allegation or witness tampering or both, it is critical to hire an experienced Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney.
Here at The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. in Colorado Springs, we believe that everyone deserves a fair trial and zealous legal representation. That is why we strive to provide all of our clients with exceptional counsel and guidance, even under the most trying circumstances. If you are facing a witness tampering allegation, domestic violence allegations, or both, contact our Colorado Springs domestic violence attorneys today at (719) 475-2555.