I'm seeing this charge prosecuted more and more in Los Angeles county. Dissuading a witness under California Penal Code 136.1 can take many different forms.
Obviously, the classic dissuading a witness case in Los Angeles is, if you go up to a witness and you threaten them and tell them they better not testify in a case or you're going to hurt them or kill them or do something to a family member. That would be the classic dissuading a witness.
But we're even seeing cases being filed where people aren't saying anything about a person testifying, but are dealing with a witness — saying things to a witness.
They call them a snitch, for example, and prosecutors are taking those cases and filing them as dissuading a witness case.
Gang-Related Cases and Witness Intimidation
Usually, we see this in gang-related cases where gang members are going up to fellow gang members who have snitched, or other gang members who snitched.
Even the public in general who might be snitching on one of their gang members and basically trying to intimidate them.
The prosecutors will file not only a dissuading a witness charge in the Los Angeles county courts, but also gang allegations and possibly other charges, depending on exactly what's said.
Whether there's any physical violence related to the case, and of course, they're going to look at the surrounding circumstances.
The bottom line is this in a dissuading a witness charge, if you look at Penal Code Section 136 and all of the related sections to it, you start to see that they've got it covered in many different ways.
They're really trying to make sure that nobody is dissuading a witness in Los Angeles county or they're going to be facing prison time.
Again, if they charge that gang allegation, that makes things even worse, where the person is facing a gang enhancement, a potential strike, serving a higher percentage of time in Los Angeles county.
Proving PC 136.1 Witness Intimidation Elements of the Crime
So, the bottom line is, if you or a loved one is charged with some sort of a dissuading witness charge, make sure you get an attorney like me who has experience with these cases,
One who has been handling cases for 26 years and really knows whether or not they're going to be able to prove this type of a charge in front of a jury, because that's what it always boils down to. If you're charged with dissuading a witness in Los Angeles, ultimately, the prosecutors have to be able to prove that charge.
They're going to have to convince a jury that you committed a crime. They're going to have to meet the elements of dissuading a witness, one by one. Really, when you look at it, you get a feel for what a jury is going to think. Are they going to think, this is wrong.
This person shouldn't be putting themselves in a position to intimidate somebody under these circumstances.
Or, they going to think, just because that person is a witness and just because somebody came in contact with them and might have said something to them, does not necessarily mean that they should be charged and convicted of dissuading a witness.
Contact Hedding Law Firm If Facing Dissuading a Witness Charges
So, if you or a loved one is either being investigate and charged with dissuading a witness in one of the 38 courts in Los Angeles county — I've handled these cases in my 26-year career.
I've worked for the DA's office. I've worked for a Superior Court Judge and since 1994, I've been the guiding force behind the Hedding Law Firm defending people for dissuading witness charges. I've had a lot of success. I know what a case is worth.
Pick up the phone. As for a meeting with Ron Hedding. I will do everything I can to help you or your loved one.
Hedding Law Firm is a criminal defense law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436. Contact us for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.