This crime falls within the general definition of the crime of bribery. In this instance though, a witness corruptly modifies their testimony or agrees not to attend trial in exchange of a benefit or some item of value. Like in any other bribery case, the offeror and the recipient of the bribe are liable under this law.

Sec 137(a) of the California Penal Code criminalizes the bribery of witnesses regarding testimony. This testimony coverage also includes witnesses giving important information about a crime to police authorities. This felony offense is committed in the following manner:

a)     Any person who gives or offers or promises to give a witness;

b)     Money or some other benefit of value;

c)      With a corrupt intent;

d)     To influence the testimony of the witnesses;

The use of force or threats of force or fraud to make a witness to give false testimony or withhold information can be prosecuted as extortion under Sec 518 of the California Penal Code.

Sec 138(a) of the California Penal Code penalizes the bribery of witnesses regarding attendance in trials. This is a felony offense committed through the following:

1)      Any person who gives or offers or promises to give a witness;

2)     Money or benefit of value;

3)     With a corrupt intent;

4)     To influence the attendance of a witness at trial;

Sec 138(b) penalizes bribery by witnesses regarding testimony or attendance. This is a felony offense committed through the following acts:

a)     A witness would receive or offers to receive;

b)     Money or some benefit of value;

c)      With a corrupt intent;

d)     To influence the witness’ testimony or attendance at trial;

Since this crime is classified as a felony offense, the penalty imposable is imprisonment of up to four years in state prison for a conviction.

The crime of bribery by or of witnesses is a serious offense in California. Should you be or know anyone facing any of these charges, do reach out to the lawyers at the Law Offices of Ramiro J. Lluis for a free consultation today.