In the magistrates' court, the maximum penalty is six months' imprisonment and/or a fine to the statutory maximum.
In the Crown Court, the maximum penalty is five years' imprisonment and/or a fine.
In England and Wales, witness intimidation by unlawful means, such as violence, bribery, threats, or improper pressure, is known as Perverting the course of justice.
Section 51 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 A current source of controversy is the lack of penalties for prosecutors who commit witness tampering or other forms of prosecutorial misconduct.
If you have been charged with intimidation of a witness, you may be somewhat confused and alarmed by the accusation.
You may be wondering how anything you have done or said could be construed by someone in law enforcement as deliberately intimidating.
A further form of intimidation may be thought of as 'cultural intimidation'.
Fist, the constitution and rules of evidence limit the kinds of procedures police can use to identify someone, and what can be said in court.
Second, when people think about what the police can show, they usually are not thinking in terms of "reasonable doubt." Even if the police are convinced about who was responsible, the Commonwealth still has to prove it, and if there is reasonable doubt, even convincing evidence is not enough.
In true witness intimidation cases the first issue is identity -- can the police prove who it was that was responsible for the allegedly intimidating acts?
There are two reasons that identity can be a legal issue even in cases where most people would consider it fairly easy to prove.