Yes, sometimes. No, other times. It depends on the circumstances.
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I would say that there is nothing preventing either party from talking to a witness, but remember that the conversation will be questioned if the matter proceeds to court and so the credibility of the witness's testimony will be attacked. Also, the party speaking to the witness needs to be careful that they are not accused of pressuring the witness to falsify their version of events.
I would advise anyone to talk to a local attorney before trying to talk to a witness.
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Bad idea. That is what lawyers are for.
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It depends on the type of crime and the relationship with the witness. For instance, an witness to an assault may feel threatened by a defendant approachingwhile a security officer who witnessed a shoplifter maybe more receptiveto discussion. It also depends upon the conditions of the bail and whether the court ordered the defendant to stay away from the victim. If there is a restraining order, contact with a witness may be perceived as attempted contact of the victim and constitutea violation of the order. The defendant is safer in allowing his attorney to interview witnesses.
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A Judge will order a defendant charged with assault and battery to stay away and have no contact with the victim and/or witnesses in 9 out of 10 cases. The Judge makes this order at arraignment. If a Defendant violates this condition the Prosecutor can move to have the Defendant's bail increased or revoked. If the bail is revoked, the Defendant can be held in custody for up to sixty days.
Even if there is no order to have no contact, it is still a very bad idea. If the conversation does not go well and the witness feels threatened or intimidated, the Defendant is now exposed to a charge of Witness Intimidation. If so charged, his bail WILL be revoked on the A&B!!
The Defendant's attorney should provide this incriminating evidence to the prosecutor.
No, if there is a court order, and the person can be charged with witness intimidation. Have their rlawyer contact the person.
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