Intimidation of a Witness (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 268, §13B)

Massachusetts domestic violence prosecutions often include a charge of “intimidation of a witness” under section 13B of General Laws 268 that was intended to make it a crime to attempt to interfere with a pending or potential court case, whether criminal or civil. Our courts of appeal have interpreted parts of the law to include trying to prevent a person from contacting the police even if there is no criminal case in existence at the time. This can be done by threats, violence, harassment, intimidation, misleading a person or even making promises or bribes.

A common scenario in these cases occurs when a domestic partner grabs the telephone from the victim during an argument, or makes a comment designed to convince the other not to contact the police.

Intimidation of a Witness in Massachusetts is a serious felony. You can be punished by up to ten years in state prison if you are found guilty of this offense.

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