All Agencies, Latest Month All Agencies, Current FY Geographic Distribution
of Convictions for
All Agencies, FY 2014
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55 Prosecutions
in Fiscal Year 2014
1 Conviction
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37 Convictions
in Fiscal Year 2014

CITE

    18 USC Sec. 1512                                            01/05/2009

EXPCITE

    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 73 - OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

HEAD

    Sec. 1512. Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant

STATUTE

      (a)(1) Whoever kills or attempts to kill another person, with
    intent to -
        (A) prevent the attendance or testimony of any person in an
      official proceeding;
        (B) prevent the production of a record, document, or other
      object, in an official proceeding; or
        (C) prevent the communication by any person to a law
      enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information
      relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal
      offense or a violation of conditions of probation, parole, or
      release pending judicial proceedings;
    shall be punished as provided in paragraph (3).
      (2) Whoever uses physical force or the threat of physical force
    against any person, or attempts to do so, with intent to -
        (A) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in
      an official proceeding;
        (B) cause or induce any person to -
          (i) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or
        other object, from an official proceeding;
          (ii) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with
        intent to impair the integrity or availability of the object
        for use in an official proceeding;
          (iii) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as
        a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object,
        in an official proceeding; or
          (iv) be absent from an official proceeding to which that
        person has been summoned by legal process; or
        (C) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law
      enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information
      relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal
      offense or a violation of conditions of probation, supervised
      release, parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
    shall be punished as provided in paragraph (3).
      (3) The punishment for an offense under this subsection is -
        (A) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in
      sections 1111 and 1112;
        (B) in the case of -
          (i) an attempt to murder; or
          (ii) the use or attempted use of physical force against any
        person;
      imprisonment for not more than 30 years; and
        (C) in the case of the threat of use of physical force against
      any person, imprisonment for not more than 20 years.
      (b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly
    persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in
    misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to -
        (1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in
      an official proceeding;
        (2) cause or induce any person to -
          (A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or
        other object, from an official proceeding;
          (B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with
        intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use
        in an official proceeding;
          (C) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a
        witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in
        an official proceeding; or
          (D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such
        person has been summoned by legal process; or
        (3) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law
      enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information
      relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal
      offense or a violation of conditions of probation (!1) supervised
      release,,(!1) parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20
    years, or both.
      (c) Whoever corruptly -
        (1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record,
      document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent
      to impair the object's integrity or availability for use in an
      official proceeding; or
        (2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official
      proceeding, or attempts to do so,
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20
    years, or both.
      (d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby
    hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from -
        (1) attending or testifying in an official proceeding;
        (2) reporting to a law enforcement officer or judge of the
      United States the commission or possible commission of a Federal
      offense or a violation of conditions of probation (!1) supervised
      release,,(!1) parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
        (3) arresting or seeking the arrest of another person in
      connection with a Federal offense; or
        (4) causing a criminal prosecution, or a parole or probation
      revocation proceeding, to be sought or instituted, or assisting
      in such prosecution or proceeding;
    or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned
    not more than 3 years, or both.
      (e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an
    affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of
    proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct
    consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant's sole
    intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to
    testify truthfully.
      (f) For the purposes of this section -
        (1) an official proceeding need not be pending or about to be
      instituted at the time of the offense; and
        (2) the testimony, or the record, document, or other object
      need not be admissible in evidence or free of a claim of
      privilege.
      (g) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, no state
    of mind need be proved with respect to the circumstance -
        (1) that the official proceeding before a judge, court,
      magistrate judge, grand jury, or government agency is before a
      judge or court of the United States, a United States magistrate
      judge, a bankruptcy judge, a Federal grand jury, or a Federal
      Government agency; or
        (2) that the judge is a judge of the United States or that the
      law enforcement officer is an officer or employee of the Federal
      Government or a person authorized to act for or on behalf of the
      Federal Government or serving the Federal Government as an
      adviser or consultant.
      (h) There is extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over an
    offense under this section.
      (i) A prosecution under this section or section 1503 may be
    brought in the district in which the official proceeding (whether
    or not pending or about to be instituted) was intended to be
    affected or in the district in which the conduct constituting the
    alleged offense occurred.
      (j) If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a
    trial of a criminal case, the maximum term of imprisonment which
    may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that
    otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been
    imposed for any offense charged in such case.
      (k) Whoever conspires to commit any offense under this section
    shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the
    offense the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy.

SOURCE

    (Added Pub. L. 97-291, Sec. 4(a), Oct. 12, 1982, 96 Stat. 1249;
    amended Pub. L. 99-646, Sec. 61, Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3614;
    Pub. L. 100-690, title VII, Sec. 7029(a), (c), Nov. 18, 1988, 102
    Stat. 4397, 4398; Pub. L. 101-650, title III, Sec. 321, Dec. 1,
    1990, 104 Stat. 5117; Pub. L. 103-322, title VI, Sec. 60018, title
    XXXIII, Sec. 330016(1)(O), (U), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1975,
    2148; Pub. L. 104-214, Sec. 1(2), Oct. 1, 1996, 110 Stat. 3017;
    Pub. L. 104-294, title VI, Sec. 604(b)(31), Oct. 11, 1996, 110
    Stat. 3508; Pub. L. 107-204, title XI, Sec. 1102, July 30, 2002,
    116 Stat. 807; Pub. L. 107-273, div. B, title III, Sec. 3001(a),
    (c)(1), Nov. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 1803, 1804; Pub. L. 110-177, title
    II, Sec. 205, Jan. 7, 2008, 121 Stat. 2537.)

AMENDMENTS

      2008 - Subsec. (a)(3)(A). Pub. L. 110-177, Sec. 205(1)(A),
    amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read
    as follows: "in the case of murder (as defined in section 1111),
    the death penalty or imprisonment for life, and in the case of any
    other killing, the punishment provided in section 1112;".
      Subsec. (a)(3)(B). Pub. L. 110-177, Sec. 205(1)(B), substituted
    "30 years" for "20 years" in concluding provisions.
      Subsec. (a)(3)(C). Pub. L. 110-177, Sec. 205(1)(C), substituted
    "20 years" for "10 years".
      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110-177, Sec. 205(2), substituted "20 years"
    for "ten years" in concluding provisions.
      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110-177, Sec. 205(3), substituted "3 years"
    for "one year" in concluding provisions.
      2002 - Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 3001(a)(1)(A),
    substituted "as provided in paragraph (3)" for "as provided in
    paragraph (2)" in concluding provisions.
      Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 3001(a)(1)(C), added par.
    (2). Former par. (2) redesignated (3).
      Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 3001(a)(1)(B), (D),
    redesignated par. (2) as (3), added subpars. (B) and (C), and
    struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: "(B) in the
    case of an attempt, imprisonment for not more than twenty years."
      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 3001(a)(2), struck out "or
    physical force" after "intimidation" in introductory provisions.
      Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 3001(c)(1), inserted
    "supervised release," after "probation".
      Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107-204 added subsec. (c). Former subsec.
    (c) redesignated (d).
      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 107-204 redesignated former subsec. (c) as
    (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).
      Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 3001(c)(1), inserted
    "supervised release," after "probation".
      Subsecs. (e) to (j). Pub. L. 107-204 redesignated former subsecs.
    (d) to (i) as (e) to (j), respectively.
      Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 107-273, Sec. 3001(a)(3), added subsec. (k).
      1996 - Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 104-294 inserted "and" after
    semicolon at end.
      Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104-214 added subsec. (i).
      1994 - Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 60018, amended
    subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (A) read as
    follows: "(A) in the case of a killing, the punishment provided in
    sections 1111 and 1112 of this title; and".
      Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(U), substituted
    "fined under this title" for "fined not more than $250,000" in
    concluding provisions.
      Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 330016(1)(O), substituted
    "fined under this title" for "fined not more than $25,000" in
    concluding provisions.
      1988 - Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 100-690, Sec. 7029(c), substituted
    "threatens, or corruptly persuades" for "or threatens".
      Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 100-690, Sec. 7029(a), added subsec. (h).
      1986 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99-646, Sec. 61(2), (3), added
    subsec. (a) and redesignated former subsec. (a) as (b).
      Subsecs. (b) to (g). Pub. L. 99-646, Sec. 61(1), (3),
    redesignated former subsec. (a) as (b), inserted ", delay, or
    prevent", and redesignated former subsecs. (b) to (f) as (c) to
    (g), respectively.

CHANGE OF NAME

      Words "magistrate judge" and "United States magistrate judge"
    substituted for "magistrate" and "United States magistrate",
    respectively, in subsec. (f)(1) pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L.
    101-650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary
    and Judicial Procedure.

MISCELLANEOUS

                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by Pub. L. 104-294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see
    section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104-294, set out as a note under section
    13 of this title.
                              EFFECTIVE DATE
      Section 9 of Pub. L. 97-291 provided that:
      "(a) Except as provided in subsection (b), this Act and the
    amendments made by this Act [enacting this section and sections
    1513 to 1515, 3579, and 3580 of this title, amending sections 1503,
    1505, 1510, and 3146 of this title and Rule 32 of the Federal Rules
    of Criminal Procedure, and enacting provisions set out as notes
    under this section and sections 1501 and 3579 of this title] shall
    take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 12,
    1982].
      "(b)(1) The amendment made by section 2 of this Act [enacting
    provisions set out as a note under this section] shall apply to
    presentence reports ordered to be made on or after March 1, 1983.
      "(2) The amendments made by section 5 of this Act [enacting
    sections 3579 and 3580 of this title] shall apply with respect to
    offenses occurring on or after January 1, 1983."
            CONGRESSIONAL FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF PURPOSES
      Section 2 of Pub. L. 97-291 provided that:
      "(a) The Congress finds and declares that:
        "(1) Without the cooperation of victims and witnesses, the
      criminal justice system would cease to function; yet with few
      exceptions these individuals are either ignored by the criminal
      justice system or simply used as tools to identify and punish
      offenders.
        "(2) All too often the victim of a serious crime is forced to
      suffer physical, psychological, or financial hardship first as a
      result of the criminal act and then as a result of contact with a
      criminal justice system unresponsive to the real needs of such
      victim.
        "(3) Although the majority of serious crimes falls under the
      jurisdiction of State and local law enforcement agencies, the
      Federal Government, and in particular the Attorney General, has
      an important leadership role to assume in ensuring that victims
      of crime, whether at the Federal, State, or local level, are
      given proper treatment by agencies administering the criminal
      justice system.
        "(4) Under current law, law enforcement agencies must have
      cooperation from a victim of crime and yet neither the agencies
      nor the legal system can offer adequate protection or assistance
      when the victim, as a result of such cooperation, is threatened
      or intimidated.
        "(5) While the defendant is provided with counsel who can
      explain both the criminal justice process and the rights of the
      defendant, the victim or witness has no counterpart and is
      usually not even notified when the defendant is released on bail,
      the case is dismissed, a plea to a lesser charge is accepted, or
      a court date is changed.
        "(6) The victim and witness who cooperate with the prosecutor
      often find that the transportation, parking facilities, and child
      care services at the court are unsatisfactory and they must often
      share the pretrial waiting room with the defendant or his family
      and friends.
        "(7) The victim may lose valuable property to a criminal only
      to lose it again for long periods of time to Federal law
      enforcement officials, until the trial and sometimes and [sic]
      appeals are over; many times that property is damaged or lost,
      which is particularly stressful for the elderly or poor.
      "(b) The Congress declares that the purposes of this Act [see
    Short Title of 1982 Amendment note set out under section 1501 of
    this title] are -
        "(1) to enhance and protect the necessary role of crime victims
      and witnesses in the criminal justice process;
        "(2) to ensure that the Federal Government does all that is
      possible within limits of available resources to assist victims
      and witnesses of crime without infringing on the constitutional
      rights of the defendant; and
        "(3) to provide a model for legislation for State and local
      governments."
    FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR TREATMENT OF CRIME VICTIMS AND WITNESSES IN
                        THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
      Section 6 of Pub. L. 97-291, as amended by Pub. L. 98-473, title
    II, Sec. 1408(b), Oct. 12, 1984, 98 Stat. 2177, provided that:
      "(a) Within two hundred and seventy days after the date of
    enactment of this Act [Oct. 12, 1982], the Attorney General shall
    develop and implement guidelines for the Department of Justice
    consistent with the purposes of this Act [see Short Title of 1982
    Amendment note set out under section 1501 of this title]. In
    preparing the guidelines the Attorney General shall consider the
    following objectives:
        "(1) Services to victims of crime. - Law enforcement personnel
      should ensure that victims routinely receive emergency social and
      medical services as soon as possible and are given information on
      the following -
          "(A) availability of crime victim compensation (where
        applicable);
          "(B) community-based victim treatment programs;
          "(C) the role of the victim in the criminal justice process,
        including what they can expect from the system as well as what
        the system expects from them; and
          "(D) stages in the criminal justice process of significance
        to a crime victim, and the manner in which information about
        such stages can be obtained.
        "(2) Notification of availability of protection. - A victim or
      witness should routinely receive information on steps that law
      enforcement officers and attorneys for the Government can take to
      protect victims and witnesses from intimidation.
        "(3) Scheduling changes. - All victims and witnesses who have
      been scheduled to attend criminal justice proceedings should
      either be notified as soon as possible of any scheduling changes
      which will affect their appearances or have available a system
      for alerting witnesses promptly by telephone or otherwise.
        "(4) Prompt notification to victims of serious crimes. -
      Victims, witnesses, relatives of those victims and witnesses who
      are minors, and relatives of homicide victims should, if such
      persons provide the appropriate official with a current address
      and telephone number, receive prompt advance notification, if
      possible, of -
          "(A) the arrest of an accused;
          "(B) the initial appearance of an accused before a judicial
        officer;
          "(C) the release of the accused pending judicial proceedings;
        and
          "(D) proceedings in the prosecution and punishment of the
        accused (including entry of a plea of guilty, trial,
        sentencing, and, where a term of imprisonment is imposed, a
        hearing to determine a parole release date and the release of
        the accused from such imprisonment).
        "(5) Consultation with victim. - The victim of a serious crime,
      or in the case of a minor child or a homicide, the family of the
      victim, should be consulted by the attorney for the Government in
      order to obtain the views of the victim or family about the
      disposition of any Federal criminal case brought as a result of
      such crime, including the views of the victim or family about -
          "(A) dismissal;
          "(B) release of the accused pending judicial proceedings;
          "(C) plea negotiations; and
          "(D) pretrial diversion program.
        "(6) Separate waiting area. - Victims and other prosecution
      witnesses should be provided prior to court appearance a waiting
      area that is separate from all other witnesses.
        "(7) Property return. - Law enforcement agencies and prosecutor
      should promptly return victim's property held for evidentiary
      purposes unless there is a compelling law enforcement reason for
      retaining it.
        "(8) Notification to employer. - A victim or witness who so
      requests should be assisted by law enforcement agencies and
      attorneys for the Government in informing employers that the need
      for victim and witness cooperation in the prosecution of the case
      may necessitate absence of that victim or witness from work. A
      victim or witness who, as a direct result of a crime or of
      cooperation with law enforcement agencies or attorneys for the
      Government, is subjected to serious financial strain, should be
      assisted by such agencies and attorneys in explaining to
      creditors the reason for such serious financial strain.
        "(9) Training by federal law enforcement training facilities. -
      Victim assistance education and training should be offered to
      persons taking courses at Federal law enforcement training
      facilities and attorneys for the Government so that victims may
      be promptly, properly, and completely assisted.
        "(10) General victim assistance. - The guidelines should also
      ensure that any other important assistance to victims and
      witnesses, such as the adoption of transportation, parking, and
      translator services for victims in court be provided.
      "(b) Nothing in this title shall be construed as creating a cause
    of action against the United States.
      "(c) The Attorney General shall assure that all Federal law
    enforcement agencies outside of the Department of Justice adopt
    guidelines consistent with subsection (a) of this section."
      [Amendment of section 6 of Pub. L. 97-291 by Pub. L. 98-473, set
    out above, effective 30 days after Oct. 12, 1984, see section
    1409(a) of Pub. L. 98-473, set out as an Effective Date note under
    section 10601 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare.]

FOOTNOTE

    (!1) So in original.
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