California penal code intimidating witness

Preventing a witness or victim from testifying, also known as dissuading a witness, is a legal term that specifically refers to the criminal act of intimidating or precluding a witness or victim into not testifying.Penal Code section 136.1, California's law against intimidating or threatening victims or witnesses, makes it a crime to prevent or dissuade any witness or victim from attending or giving testimony at any trial, court proceeding or inquiry authorized by law.

(a) (1) Upon a good cause belief that harm to, or intimidation or dissuasion of, a victim or witness has occurred or is reasonably likely to occur, a court with jurisdiction over a criminal matter may issue orders, including, but not limited to, the following:(A) An order issued pursuant to Section 6320 of the Family Code.(B) An order that a defendant shall not violate any provision of Section 136.1.(C) An order that a person before the court other than a defendant, including, but not limited to, a subpoenaed witness or other person entering the courtroom of the court, shall not violate any provisions of Section 136.1.(D) An order that a person described in this section shall have no communication whatsoever with a specified witness or a victim, except through an attorney under reasonable restrictions that the court may impose.(E) An order calling for a hearing to determine if an order as described in subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, should be issued.(F) (i) An order that a particular law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction of the court provide protection for a victim or a witness, or both, or for immediate family members of a victim or a witness who reside in the same household as the victim or witness or within reasonable proximity of the victim s or witness household, as determined by the court.

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In this chapter:(1) "Custody" means:(A) detained or under arrest by a peace officer; or(B) under restraint by a public servant pursuant to an order of a court.(2) "Party official" means a person who holds any position or office in a political party, whether by election, appointment, or employment.(3) "Benefit" means anything reasonably regarded as pecuniary gain or pecuniary advantage, including benefit to any other person in whose welfare the beneficiary has a direct and substantial interest.(4) "Vote" means to cast a ballot in an election regulated by law.

(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another, or solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another:(1) any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official, or voter;(2) any benefit as consideration for the recipient's decision, vote, recommendation, or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding;(3) any benefit as consideration for a violation of a duty imposed by law on a public servant or party official; or(4) any benefit that is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or that is an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code, if the benefit was offered, conferred, solicited, accepted, or agreed to pursuant to an express agreement to take or withhold a specific exercise of official discretion if such exercise of official discretion would not have been taken or withheld but for the benefit; notwithstanding any rule of evidence or jury instruction allowing factual inferences in the absence of certain evidence, direct evidence of the express agreement shall be required in any prosecution under this subdivision.(b) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that a person whom the actor sought to influence was not qualified to act in the desired way whether because he had not yet assumed office or he lacked jurisdiction or for any other reason.(c) It is no defense to prosecution under this section that the benefit is not offered or conferred or that the benefit is not solicited or accepted until after:(1) the decision, opinion, recommendation, vote, or other exercise of discretion has occurred; or(2) the public servant ceases to be a public servant.(d) It is an exception to the application of Subdivisions (1), (2), and (3) of Subsection (a) that the benefit is a political contribution as defined by Title 15, Election Code, or an expenditure made and reported in accordance with Chapter 305, Government Code.(e) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.

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