Joel Matias of Lawrence, Massachusetts received good news yesterday when he entered a Lawrence District Court courtroom and had an Assault With a Dangerous Weapon case against him dismissed. That case involved a shooting that occurred this past summer after two groups got into a fight and someone fired a handgun. After getting the case dismissed Matias went down the hallway to get an electronic monitoring device removed. While doing so he allegedly passed two girls and called them snitches. The device was removed and Matias was arrested and charged with Witness Intimidation.
Massachusetts Witness Intimidation Defense Lawyer
The Witness Intimidation statute in Massachusetts is quite broad. The law, G.L. 268 Section 13B, makes it a crime for anyone to either directly or indirectly threaten, injure, or attempt to do harm to anyone who is a witness to or someone interested in a criminal matter at any stage. The statute also prohibits giving gifts to or in any intimidating such people. A conviction for this crime carries a potential ten year state prison sentence. The district court had jurisdiction of these charges as well and there is a maximum two and one half year sentence for anyone convicted in that court for intimidating a witness. As a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer I would like to know who witnessed Matias make the threats. It makes no sense that someone who just got his case dismissed would be making threats as such in the courthouse. Usually witnesses are intimidated in an effort to prevent them from testifying against someone. This occurs before the resolution of a case, not once the case has terminated. This situation sounds like someone took exception to the dismissal and wanted to keep Matias on his heels.
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