Some defendants intimidate witnesses – or even the victims of the crimes they committed – to try and sway the case in their favor. Intimidating a witness or otherwise interfering with their testimony in a civil or criminal case is not only a concerning issue but an illegal one.

Unfortunately, witness and victim intimidation occurs frequently in Georgia and can include:

  • Asking a witness to not report the crime or speak with police
  • Offering incentives or a bribe for them to alter their testimony or not testify
  • Threats of physical violence or property damage
  • Threats against a witness’s loved ones or family members
  • Intentionally preventing a victim from attending a deposition, hearing, trial, or another legal event

If you feel that you’re being intimidated by the defense or someone on their behalf, report it to your attorney right away. To schedule a free consultation with Atlanta crime victim lawyer Mike Rafi, call (404) 800-9933.

victim intimidation

Taking action is important

If you’re unable to simply avoid the defendant, you might be more susceptible to threats or attempts to influence your testimony. An Atlanta crime victim lawyer can help witnesses and victims understand their rights in a coercive situation.

Understanding a threat

Knowing if you’re truly being threatened or if someone is just using hyperbolic language makes a difference in the right course of action to take.

What constitutes a threat?

A threat may be verbal or physical and can occur face-to-face, over the phone, through text, or via social media.

Types of threats

Victim or witness intimidation falls into two categories:

  • Overt intimidation – The defendant or a proxy explicitly threatens the victim or the victim’s loved ones are explicitly threatened.
  • Implicit intimidation – Occurs most often in communities where there is an unexpressed, yet still present, threat of retaliation if the victim or a witness speaks with police.

Assessing the severity and likelihood of the threat

How likely is the intimidator to carry through with their actions? Do you know them personally, or are you receiving social media threats anonymously? Reporting the threat to the police helps – they have resources you don’t have to help assess the potential threat.

What should I do if I’m being threatened?

Although you are probably frightened and nervous, the best steps include involving your lawyer as soon as possible.

Take safety precautions

Lock your doors, change your routine, or ask someone to walk you to your car after work. Depending on the level of threats, you may be eligible for police protection, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Gather evidence carefully

Preserve any contact from the defendant or parties acting on their behalf, including saving emails and texts or taking screenshots of their social media posts. Be cautious if you choose to record conversations with the defendant or their proxies because it could put you in further danger if they notice.

Report the threat to the appropriate authorities

Victim intimidation is a crime, and you have the right to protection. Call the police if you’re in imminent danger and be sure to file a police report for every threat.

Do you need help after being threatened by the defendant in a criminal case?

If you’re being threatened after reporting a crime or if you’re the victim of a crime and are being harassed by the defendant, Atlanta crime victim lawyer Mike Rafi can help. 

Contact Rafi Law Firm today at (404) 800-9933 to get the legal protection you deserve.

If you have been injured by another party and need representation by a legal team that will fight hard for you, call Rafi Law Firm today for a free consultation at 404-800-9933.