Witness Tampering Attorney in Monmouth County

Monmouth County NJ Witness Tampering Lawyer

It should be no surprise to hear that the prosecution takes witness tampering allegations very seriously and that they tend to prosecute these types of cases to the fullest extent of the law. Some of the most common allegations surrounding witness tampering charges in Monmouth County include threats of violence, actual physical violence, and bribery. As you will see below, witness tampering can either be a first, second, third, or fourth-degree indictable offense. In other words, if convicted, a Defendant could be facing upwards of two decades behind bars. Furthermore, witness tampering charges are typically in addition to other serious felony charges including but not limited to heroin distribution, possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute, homicide, sexual assault, burglary, and terroristic threat.

If you have been placed under arrested and charged with witness tampering in Monmouth County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our attorneys fully understand what a felony criminal conviction, let alone a lengthy prison sentence can do to someone’s life. As such, we are dedicated to aggressively defending these types of allegations in order to obtain a favorable outcome. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense lawyers about your options, then please contact our Middletown office at 732.858.6959. We serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Hazlet, Asbury Park, Wall Township, Long Branch, Freehold, Holmdel, Middletown, Howell, Highlands, and Ocean Township. As always, our initial consultations are free of charge, so if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Can I Be Charged with Witness Tampering?

Facing a Witness Tampering Charge in Asbury Park NJ?

NJSA 2C:28-5a, Tampering with Witnesses and Informants, is a very serious felony offense and should not be taken lightly. This offense in essence seeks to prosecute those who are alleged to have committed some act that could have or did in fact deter a witness from coming forward and testifying. As touched upon above, tampering with a witness’s charges can stem from a variety of allegations and as a result, the legislature has chosen to break down this statute into several different subsections. Those subsections include: Tampering; Retaliation of a Witness; Witness / Informant Accepting a Bribe; Bribing a Witness / Informant. By far the most common subsection prosecuted under this offense is Tampering. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • That the Defendant believed that an official proceeding or investigation was pending; &
    • That the Defendant knowingly engaged in conduct which a reasonable person would believe would cause a witness or informant to:
      • Testify or inform falsely;
      • Withhold any testimony, information, document, or thing;
      • Elude legal process summoning him/her to testify or supply evidence;
      • Absent himself/herself from any proceeding or investigation to which he/she had been legally summoned; or
      • Otherwise, obstruct, delay, prevent or impede an official proceeding or investigation.

As you can see, an official proceeding or investigation is what is required before an alleged “act” can be construed as witness tampering. An official proceeding has been defined as “A proceeding heard or which may be heard before any legislative, judicial, administrative or other governmental agency or official authorized to take evidence under oath, including any referee, hearing examiner, commissioner, notary or other person taking testimony or deposition in connection with any such proceedings.”

Is there Jail Time for a Witness Tampering Charge in New Jersey?

First Degree Witness Tampering Charges

If the witness tampering charges involve any one of the crimes mentioned directly below and the Defendant is alleged to use force or the threat of force, then they will be facing a crime of the first degree. A crime of the first-degree subjects a Defendant to a potential ten to a twenty-year prison sentence, plus a fine of up to $200,000

  • Robbery;
  • Carjacking;
  • Aggravated Arson;
  • Burglary;
  • Extortion;
  • Booby traps in Manufacturing or Distribution Facilities;
  • Strict Liability for Drug-Induced Deaths;
  • Terrorism;
  • Racketeering

Second-Degree Tampering a Witness Charge

If the witness tampering charges involve the Defendant using force or the threat of force, then they will be facing a crime of the second degree. A crime of the second-degree subjects a Defendant to a potential decade in prison, plus a fine of up to $150,000.

Third Degree Witness Tampering Offenses

If no force or threat of force is involved, then the Defendant’s witness tamper charge will be considered a crime of the third degree. If convicted, a Defendant faces up to five years in prison plus a fine up to $35,000.

Can I get Bail on a Witness Tampering Charge in New Jersey?

Pursuant to Bail Reform, which came into effect in 2017, the prosecution now has the ability to seek to deny a Defendant bail. In order to do so, the prosecution must file for and be successful at what is known as a Detention Hearing. During this hearing, the prosecution must show by clear and convincing evidence that the Defendant is a danger to society, a flight risk, and/or a danger to obstructing the prosecution’s case. Obviously, witness tampering directly deals with one of the factors that allow for the prosecution to file for detention. These types of hearings can and always should be contested. If you have any further questions with regard to detention hearings, please contact our office and speak to one of our Monmouth County criminal defense lawyers.

Long Branch NJ Witness Tampering Lawyer

Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a Monmouth County-based criminal defense firm that has been zealously advocating on behalf of its clients for the better part of the last decade. If you have found yourself being charged with witness tampering, we strongly urge you to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These are extremely serious charges and they tend to be aggressively prosecuted. If you would like to speak to one of the attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law about your options, then please contact us at 732.858.6959 or you can try contacting us online. We serve all of Monmouth County, including Belmar, Rumson, Colts Neck, Asbury Park, West Long Branch, Tinton Falls, Eatontown, Aberdeen, Matawan, and Keansburg.