Related to Witness Tampering and similar charges, a court can issue protective orders for witnesses and victims of crimes. Under 2C:28-5.1, Witness, Victim Protective Order, a court can restrain the action of the defendant or any other party connected to the case if they are likely to violate any of three laws, specifically, Witness Tampering, Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, or Compounding (accepting a bribe in order to not report an offense to police).
The protective order permitted under 2C:28-5.1 can specify that none of the above laws be violated, that the defendant or other person stay a certain distance from the witness or victim, and that the defendant or other person has no communication with the witness or victim except through their attorneys.
The way that violations are charged under 2C:28-5.1 is spelled out in 2C:28-5.2, which allows that a person under such an order may be charged with the substantive offense, i.e., Witness Tampering, Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, or Compounding, as well as Contempt of Court. Additionally, the statute encourages sentences to be imposed consecutively rather than concurrently, with judges ordered to explain on the record why they did not apply the sentences consecutively if they do not.
When your criminal case spirals to include allegations of Witness Tampering or similar and the court steps in with orders to protect key witnesses or the alleged victim, you need experienced legal help right away. Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9661 for a free consultation with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer.