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Under Colorado CRS 18-8-706, retaliating against a witness or victim of a crime as retribution is a criminal offense. Retaliating against a juror in a criminal or civil trial is also a crime. Retaliating against a witness, victim of a crime, or juror is a class 3 felony.
18-8-706 CRS states that “(1) An individual commits retaliation against a witness or victim if such person uses a threat, act of harassment as defined in section 18-9-111, or act of harm or injury upon any person or property, which action is directed to or committed upon a witness or a victim to any crime, an individual whom the person believes has been or would have been called to testify as a witness or victim, a member of the witness’ family, a member of the victim’s family, an individual in close relationship to the witness or victim, an individual residing in the same household with the witness or victim, as retaliation or retribution against such witness or victim. (2) Retaliation against a witness or victim is a class 3 felony.”
In this article, our Colorado criminal defense lawyers will address:
It is a crime in Colorado to retaliate against a witness to a crime or victim of a crime. Retaliation or retribution is done for the purpose of getting back at the victim or witness and includes:
Retaliation can be directed at the victim, witness, family member of the witness’ or victim’s family, person in a close relationship with the victim or witness; or an individual who lives in the same household.1
“Harassment” includes any annoying or harmful touching, making verbal or written threats, or obscene gestures with the intent to annoy, harass, or cause alarm to another person. Harassment can include:
A witness to a crime includes any person who:
A “victim” includes any person against whom any crime has been perpetrated or attempted. This could include sexual assault, robbery victims, burglary victims, or victims of fraud.4
Under C.R.S. 18-8-706.5, an individual commits retaliation against a juror by using a threat, harassment, or act of harm or injury directed at a juror who has served on a criminal or civil trial in retaliation for their actions as a juror. This includes actions directed at or committed upon a juror, member of the juror’s family, individual in a close relationship, or individual residing in the same household.5
A “juror” means any person who is a member of a jury or grand jury serving on a jury panel by any court in Colorado. It also includes any person who has been selected or summoned to attend as a prospective juror.6
Retaliation against a witness or victim of a crime is a class 3 felony.7 Retaliation against a juror or prospective juror is also a class 3 felony in Colorado.8 The penalties for a conviction of retaliation against a witness, victim, or juror include 4 to 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $750,000. In addition, there is a mandatory parole period of 5 years.
In addition to fines and jail time, a conviction for retaliation against a witness or victim could subject the defendant to civil liability. Under C.R.S. 18-8-708, victims of intimidation or retaliation are eligible for damages suffered as the result of intimidation or retaliation. In a civil proceeding, witnesses or victims, or members of their family, may recover damages for any injury or property damage. They may also be eligible to receive treble damages and attorney fees.9
In Colorado, offering money or another benefit to a witness or victim of a crime to influence their decisions is bribing a witness. Bribing a witness is a felony. The penalties for bribery of a witness or victim includes up to 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
In Colorado, making threats against a witness or victim of a crime in order to influence their decisions is a criminal offense. Intimidating a witness is a felony, with increased felonies if the witness is intimidated by the use of a deadly weapon.
Tampering with a witness involves attempts to get a witness to withhold testimony, testify falsely, or be absent from an official proceeding. Tampering with a witness is a class 4 felony, with penalties including 2 to 6 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.
Bribing a juror involves offering or agreeing to offer money or any other benefit upon a juror to influence the juror’s vote or opinion. Bribing a juror is a class 4 felony, with penalties including 2 to 6 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.
If you have been accused of retaliating against a witness or victim, please contact us at Colorado Legal Defense Group.
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