Intimidation of Justice System Participant Offences in Winnipeg

What is Intimidating a Justice System Participant?

Intimidation of justice system participants is a serious criminal offence.Intimidation of Justice System Participants cover a wide range of criminal behaviours. The offence is made out when a person intentionally engages in any conduct which causes a state of fear in the justice system participant in order to impede their judicial duty. Justice system participants include politicians, lawyers, judges, potential jurors and jurors, witnesses, police, and others employed in the justice system.

Conduct that can be found to cause a state of fear in justice system participants include:

  1. when violence has been used against a justice system participant;
  2. where the property of a justice system participant has been damaged;
  3. threats against a justice system participant, their property, or against others they know;
  4. repeatedly contacting the justice system participant by any means (mail, email, phone, or text);
  5. following a justice system participant from place to place, including following that person on the highway in a disorderly manner; and,
  6. waiting outside the place where the justice system participant resides, works, attends school, or worships.

Obtaining Bail when Charged with Intimidating a Justice System Participant

It can be very difficult to obtain bail when you have been charged with intimidating a justice system participant. The Crown Attorney will undoubtedly be opposed to your release. The judge will be reluctant to release you after hearing allegation that you interfered with the very process in which the judge has sworn to protect and uphold. A well-developed bail will be necessary to secure your release. Conditions may include an absolute curfew, and/or GPS ankle-monitoring.

Sentencing for Intimidation of Justice System Participants

Intimidation of a justice system participant is an offence taken very seriously judges. It is an offence that strikes at the very root of the justice system. The maximum sentence is 14 years jail. In almost all cases the Crown Attorney will be asking for a lengthy term of imprisonment. When a judge passes sentence, their concern will be specifically deterring the offender, along with deterring anyone else from committing the offence. Aside from a potentially lengthy jail term, upon conviction the court will place the offender on ten year weapon prohibition and order the offender to provide a sample of their DNA for the national database.

Defending Intimidation of Justice System Participants Charge

After I have carefully and thoroughly reviewed all the disclosure, we will discuss the allegations together so I can get your side of the story. Depending on your specific circumstances, a number of defences may be available. While I review of your case I will explore some of the following issues:

  1. whether the Crown Attorney prove you knew the complainant was a justice system participant;
  2. if your intention was to cause fear in the complainant; and,
  3. whether you had any lawful authority to act in manner alleged.

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