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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

609.498 TAMPERING WITH A WITNESS.
    Subdivision 1. Tampering with a witness in the first degree. Whoever does any of the
following is guilty of tampering with a witness in the first degree and may be sentenced as
provided in subdivision 1a:
(a) intentionally prevents or dissuades or intentionally attempts to prevent or dissuade by
means of force or threats of injury to any person or property, a person who is or may become a
witness from attending or testifying at any trial, proceeding, or inquiry authorized by law;
(b) by means of force or threats of injury to any person or property, intentionally coerces
or attempts to coerce a person who is or may become a witness to testify falsely at any trial,
proceeding, or inquiry authorized by law;
(c) intentionally causes injury or threatens to cause injury to any person or property in
retaliation against a person who was summoned as a witness at any trial, proceeding, or inquiry
authorized by law, within a year following that trial, proceeding, or inquiry or within a year
following the actor's release from incarceration, whichever is later;
(d) intentionally prevents or dissuades or attempts to prevent or dissuade, by means of
force or threats of injury to any person or property, a person from providing information to law
enforcement authorities concerning a crime;
(e) by means of force or threats of injury to any person or property, intentionally coerces or
attempts to coerce a person to provide false information concerning a crime to law enforcement
authorities; or
(f) intentionally causes injury or threatens to cause injury to any person or property in
retaliation against a person who has provided information to law enforcement authorities
concerning a crime within a year of that person providing the information or within a year of the
actor's release from incarceration, whichever is later.
    Subd. 1a. Penalty. Whoever violates subdivision 1 may be sentenced to imprisonment for
not more than five years or to payment of a fine not to exceed $10,000.
    Subd. 1b. Aggravated first-degree witness tampering. (a) A person is guilty of aggravated
first-degree witness tampering if the person causes or, by means of an implicit or explicit credible
threat, threatens to cause great bodily harm or death to another in the course of committing any
of the following acts intentionally:
(1) preventing or dissuading or attempting to prevent or dissuade a person who is or may
become a witness from attending or testifying at any criminal trial or proceeding;
(2) coercing or attempting to coerce a person who is or may become a witness to testify
falsely at any criminal trial or proceeding;
(3) retaliating against a person who was summoned as a witness at any criminal trial or
proceeding within a year following that trial or proceeding or within a year following the actor's
release from incarceration, whichever is later;
(4) preventing or dissuading or attempting to prevent or dissuade a person from providing
information to law enforcement authorities concerning a crime;
(5) coercing or attempting to coerce a person to provide false information concerning a crime
to law enforcement authorities; or
(6) retaliating against any person who has provided information to law enforcement
authorities concerning a crime within a year of that person providing the information or within a
year of the actor's release from incarceration, whichever is later.
(b) A person convicted of committing any act prohibited by paragraph (a) may be sentenced
to imprisonment for not more than 20 years or to payment of a fine of not more than $30,000, or
both.
    Subd. 2. Tampering with a witness in the second degree. Whoever does any of the
following is guilty of tampering with a witness in the second degree and may be sentenced as
provided in subdivision 3:
(a) intentionally prevents or dissuades or intentionally attempts to prevent or dissuade by
means of any act described in section 609.27, subdivision 1, clause (3), (4), or (5), a person who
is or may become a witness from attending or testifying at any trial, proceeding, or inquiry
authorized by law;
(b) by means of any act described in section 609.27, subdivision 1, clause (3), (4), or (5),
intentionally coerces or attempts to coerce a person who is or may become a witness to testify
falsely at any trial, proceeding, or inquiry authorized by law;
(c) intentionally prevents or dissuades or attempts to prevent or dissuade by means of any
act described in section 609.27, subdivision 1, clause (3), (4), or (5), a person from providing
information to law enforcement authorities concerning a crime; or
(d) by means of any act described in section 609.27, subdivision 1, clause (3), (4), or (5),
intentionally coerces or attempts to coerce a person to provide false information concerning a
crime to law enforcement authorities.
    Subd. 3. Sentence. Whoever violates subdivision 2 may be sentenced to imprisonment for
not more than one year or to payment of a fine not to exceed $3,000.
    Subd. 4. No bar to conviction. Notwithstanding section 609.035 or 609.04, a prosecution for
or conviction of the crime of aggravated first-degree witness tampering is not a bar to conviction
of or punishment for any other crime.
History: 1976 c 178 s 1; 1983 c 262 art 2 s 6; 1984 c 628 art 3 s 11; 1987 c 194 s 1,2; 1995
c 244 s 18; 1997 c 239 art 3 s 15,16