Witness Intimidation Law and Legal Definition
Witness intimidation means the threatening of a crucial court witnesses by pressure or extortion to compel him/her to not to testify. The admissibility of witness intimidation evidence turns on whether the source of the intimidation may be linked to the defendant. Hence, the proponent of the evidence of witness intimidation must connect a defendant with the threat. Without establishing that connection, the evidence concerning witness intimidation is unreliable and therefore inadmissible. Witness intimidation evidence, if linked to a defendant, can be admitted to show a consciousness of guilt. Establishing the defendant as the source of the intimidation provides the necessary reliability for admissibility. Witness intimidation is often accompanied with tough penalties. For instance, in the state of Kansas, witness intimidation is a criminal misdemeanor, or a felony. In situations where intimidation is apprehended, witnesses can be placed in witness protection to prevent suspects or their fellows from intimidating them.