A crime of intimidation may be prosecuted if the defendant makes a threat and the person does not follow through with it. The threat must be made to the victim of intimidation, especially if the person was an official. Additionally, the intimidation must have occurred in the course of the defendant’s official duties. Typically, this will occur when a person is attempting to stop the victim from performing his or her duties.
Tip for establishing a crime of intimidation
While a crime of intimidation may sound relatively minor, it can have significant consequences. Almost half of all violent crimes and 39 percent of property crimes are never reported to the police, and a significant number of victims do not even report the crime because they fear it might not be serious enough to involve the police. In other cases, victims cite intimidation as one of the reasons they did not report the crime. The perpetrator likely believed that the incident was too minor to involve the police, and the victim did not feel it was personal enough to disclose to authorities.
Criteria for establishing a crime of intimidation
The law recognizes several factors that constitute intimidation. Federal law prohibits interference with federally protected activities such as employment, public education, jury service, travel, and enjoyment of public accommodations. In addition, intimidation is considered a crime if it causes serious physical injury. The offense carries a fine of up to $10,000, and is punishable by one to ten years in prison. If two or more persons engage in the intimidation, it is a class B felony.
Another aspect of intimidation is that the defendant must reasonably believe that the victim is a witness to the crime. For example, Carl confronts a man who is going to testify against his boss and threatens to harm the man’s family. In addition, Jose lures women to his apartment, attacks one of them, and subsequently threatens her family. In addition, intimidation is often linked to gang-related extortion.
While most forms of intimidation are not life-threatening or violent, the perception of reprisals is extremely distressing for witnesses. Furthermore, it reduces citizens’ willingness to engage with the criminal justice system. Fear of reprisal often prevents witnesses from cooperating with police, and it results in abandoned cases. When investigating cases, the law enforcement agency should aggressively pursue suspects. The victim should be informed of what is happening in the case and what he or she can do to resolve the case.
Cost of establishing a crime of intimidation
The cost of establishing a crime of intimidation varies by state, but the general rule is that if the defendant intentionally communicates a false report of a natural disaster or threatens another person with harm, the act is considered intimidation. In a criminal trial, the defendant can receive a fine of up to $50,000. Fortunately, the costs of establishing a crime of intimidation are minimal, and the benefits far outweigh the cost of bringing a successful prosecution.
Regardless of whether the perpetrator is a child or an adult, the victim must be informed of their options and consequences for the incident, including restraining orders and additional charges. Restrictive orders should be sought and should be a condition of bail. If there are witnesses involved, the victim must be treated with sensitivity and the police officer must respond promptly. Victims should be provided with written reports detailing the nature of the intimidation and its impact on the victim. Written reports are a valuable document to support a case and can prove the pattern of intimidation.