Knoxville Coercion of a Witness Lawyer

Defending Witness Coercion Charges

Coercion of a witness is a crime in Tennessee and typically involves the use of threats, intimidation or some other form of force or pressure to compel a witness to testify falsely, withhold testimony or elude judicial process. The offense is classified as a Class D felony.

If you have been charged with this crime, the attorneys at the law offices of Baker Associates near Knoxville and Sevierville, Tennessee, can defend your rights under the law. With years of criminal defense experience, we can help you understand the complex legal issues that arise when charged with this crime. Through diligent and thorough research and investigation, our skilled attorneys find weaknesses and inconsistencies in the government's case. In fact, our dynamic criminal defense lawyers have successfully handled cases similar cases and will do everything in their power to defend your rights and work toward the best possible outcome.

Coercion of a Witness in Tennessee

Under T.C.A. 39-16-507, coercion of a witness is a Class D felony. To be found guilty of this offense, the state must prove all the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

    1. That by means of coercion, you influenced or attempted to influence a witness or prospective witness in an official proceeding; and
    2. That you intended to influence the witness to either 1) testify falsely, 2) withhold truthful information, or 3) elude legal process that summoning the witness to testify, supply evidence or be absent from a judicial proceeding for which the witness has been summoned.

Under Tennessee jurisprudence, coercion means a threat, however communicated, to:

  • commit any offense,
  • wrongfully accuse any person of any offense,
  • expose any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule,
  • harm the credit or business repute of any person, or
  • take or withhold action as a public servant or cause a public servant to take or withhold action.

An "official proceeding" means any type of administrative, executive, legislative or judicial proceeding that may be conducted before a public servant authorized by law to take statements under oath. Thus, a pretrial deposition is an official proceeding because it is a judicial proceeding conducted before a public servant and under oath.

Consequences and Penalties

Coercion of a witness is a Class D felony. If charged, you are facing between two and twelve years in jail. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed $5,000. Penalties may also include supervised release and/or probation.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

There are complex and difficult evidentiary and legal issues involved in trying and defending witness coercion cases in Tennessee. Consequently, you will want an experienced attorney who can competently defend you against these charges.

By engaging in fierce representation and investigation into the legal issues of your case, our lawyers will mount a strong defense against these charges. Do not put your case and quality of life at risk by making the wrong legal choices. Discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at our offices.

If you have been charged with witness coercion, contact a lawyer by completing the form below.






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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Knoxville Criminal Defense Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact an attorney at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.


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