Justin Brown, a Cobb County man, was found guilty for shooting someone in the head and then later bribing and influencing witnesses not to appear in court.
Brown has been sentenced to 40 years in prison without the possibility of parole. As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the crime of influencing a witness in today's post.
Influencing a Witness in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines influencing a witness in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-10-93, a witness can be influenced with or without force. The first part of the law outlines the first type of witness influence:
A person who, with intent to deter a witness from testifying freely, fully, and truthfully to any matter pending in any court, in any administrative proceeding, or before a grand jury, communicates, directly or indirectly, to such witness any threat of injury or damage to the person, property, or employment of the witness or to the person, property, or employment of any relative or associate of the witness or who offers or delivers any benefit, reward, or consideration for such witness or to a relative or associate of the witness shall will be guilty of influencing witnesses.
The second part of the law outlines the second type of witness influence:
It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to use intimidation, physical force, or threats; to persuade another person by means of corruption or to attempt to do so; or to engage in misleading conduct toward another person with intent to:
(A) Influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(B) Cause or induce any person to withhold testimony or a record, document, or another object from an official proceeding, alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding, evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness or to produce a record, document, or other object in an official proceeding; or be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or
(C) Hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer, prosecuting attorney, or judge of this state of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a criminal offense or a violation of conditions of probation, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings.
Influencing a witness is classified as a felony offense. If convicted of violating the first part of the law, the punishment will be a prison term between one and five years. If convicted of violating the second part of the law, the punishment will increase to a prison term between two and ten years, a fine between $10,000 and $20,000, or both.
Felony punishments in Georgia or misdemeanor punishments in Georgia should not be taken lightly. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia, contact our offices today. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can help you with your case today.