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Tampering with a Witness
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Tampering with a Witness

The Law in Plain English -

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Top Witness Tampering Defense Attorney Jason Cromey, Esq. on:

Tampering with a Witness: F.S. 914.22

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Tampering with a Witness- The crime of tampering with a witness occurs when a person knowingly uses or attempts to use intimidation, physical force, threats, misleading conduct, or offers pecuniary benefit or gain to another person, with the intent that the person:


  1. withhold testimony, a record, document, or other object from an official investigation or official proceeding;
  2. alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the integrity or availability of the object for use in an official investigation or official proceeding;
  3. evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official investigation or an official proceeding;
  4. be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process;
  5. hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of information relating to the commission or possible commission of an offense or a violation of a condition of probation, parole, or release pending a judicial proceeding; or
  6. testify untruthfully in an official investigation or an official proceeding.

There are varying degrees of severity and punishment for this crime:


  • If the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a life or capital felony, then crime is considered a life felony punishable by life imprisonment and/or fines of up to $15,000.
  • If the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a first-degree felony or a first-degree felony punishable by a term of years not exceeding life, then the crime is considered a first-degree felony and may be punishable by probation or imprisonment of up to 30 years, and/or fines of up to $10,000.
  • If the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a second-degree felony, then the crime is considered a first-degree felony and may be punishable by a term of years not exceeding life; probation or imprisonment of up to 30 years; and/or fines of up to $10,000.
  • If the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a third-degree felony, then the crime is considered a second-degree felony and may be punishable by probation or imprisonment of up to 15 years, and/or fines of up to $10,000.
  • If the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves either (1) the investigation or prosecution of misdemeanor; or (2) a noncriminal investigation or proceeding, then the crime is considered a third degree felony and may be punishable by probation or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and/or fines of up to $5,000.
  • If the offense level of the affected official investigation or official proceeding is indeterminable, then the crime is considered a third degree felony and may be punishable by probation or imprisonment not exceeding 5 years and/or fines of up to $5,000.

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