HOUSE BILL NO. 555
AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 5 AND CHAPTER 35, TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO THE INTIMIDATION OF VICTIMS AND WITNESSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend §1263, Chapter 5, Part I, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (1), and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
"(1) He knowingly induces. influences, or impedes any witness or victim by false statement, fraud or deceit, with intent to affect the testimony or availability of such witness; or"
Section 2. Amend §1263, Chapter 5, Part I, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subsection, which new subsection shall read as follows:
"(3) He knowingly intimidates a witness or victim under circumstances set forth in Subchapter III, Chapter 35 of this Title."
Section 3. Amend Chapter 35, Part II, Title 11 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new subchapter, designated as Subchapter III, which new subchapter shall read as follows:
"SUBCHAPTER III. INTIMIDATION OF WITNESSES AND VICTIMS
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this Section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
(a) "Malice" shall mean an intent to vex, annoy, harm, or injure in any way another person, or to thwart or interfere in any manner with the orderly administration of justice.
(b) "Victim" shall mean any natural person against whom any crime (as defined under the laws of this State, of any other State, or of the United States) has been attempted, is being perpetrated, or has been perpetrated.
(e) "Witness" shall mean any natural person:
(1) having knowledge of the existence or non-existence of facts relating to any crime; or
(2) whose declaration under oath Is received, or has been received, as evidence for any purpose; or
(3) who has reported any crime to any peace officer, prosecuting agency, law enforcement officer, probation officer, parole officer, correctional officer, or judicial officer; or
(4) who has been served with a subpoena issued under the authority of any Court of this state, of any other State, or of the United States; or
(5) who would be believed by any reasonable person to be an individual described in any paragraph of this subsection.
§3532. Acts of Intimidation
Except as provided in §3533 herein, every person who knowingly and with malice prevents or dissuades (or who attempts to prevent or dissuade) any witness or victim from attending or giving testimony at any trial, proceeding or inquiry authorized by law is committing an act of intimidation and is guilty of a Class E felony. A person who knowingly and with malice attempts to prevent another person who has been the victim of a crime, or a witness to a crime (or any person acting on behalf of a victim or witness) from:
(a) making any report of such crime or victimization to any peace officer, law enforcement officer, prosecuting agency, law enforcement officer, probation officer, parole officer, correctional officer, or judicial officer;
(b) causing a complaint, indictment, information, probation or parole violation to be sought or prosecuted, or from assisting in the prosecution thereof; or
(c) arresting, causing, or seeking the arrest of any person in connection with such crime or victimization is guilty of a Class E felony.
§3533. Aggravated Acts of Intimidation
Every person doing any of the acts set forth in §3532, knowingly and with malice under one or more of the following circumstances, shall be guilty of a Class D felony if, in addition, such act:
(a) is accompanied by an express or implied threat of force or violence, upon a victim, a witness, or any third person (or upon the property of a victim, witness or third person);
(b) is in furtherance of a conspiracy;
(c) is committed by any person who has been convicted of any violation of this Chapter, any predecessor law hereto, the statute of any other State, or any federal statute which would be a violation of this Chapter if committed in this State; or
(a) committed, for pecuniary gain or for any other consideration, by any person acting upon the request of another person.
Every person attempting the commission of any act described in the foregoing sections is guilty of the offense attempted, without regard to the success or failure of such attempt. The fact that no person was actually physically injured, or actually intimidated, shall be no defense against any prosecution under this Chapter.
§3535. Protective Orders
Any Court with jurisdiction over any criminal matter may in its discretion and upon good cause (which may Include, but is not limited to, such matters as credible hearsay, the declaration of the prosecutor, or the declaration of the defense attorney) find that intimidation or dissuasion of a victim or witness has occurred (or is reasonably likely to occur) and may issue orders including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) An order that a defendent not violate any provision of this Chapter;
(b) An order that a person before the Court other than a defendent (including, but not limited to, a subpoenaed witness) not violate any provision of this Chapter;
(c) An order that a designated person maintain a prescribed geographic distance from any other person specified by the Court;
(d) An order that any designated person have no communication whatsoever with any person specified by the Court, except through an attorney, and under such reasonable restrictions as the Court may impose;
(e) An order for a hearing to determine If any order under this section should be Issued;
(f) An order that a particular law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction of the Court provide protection for a person specified by the Court.
§3536. Violations of Orders
(a) A person who violates an order made pursuant to this subchapter may be punished for any substantive offense set forth in this chapter.
(b) A person who violates an order made pursuant to this subchapter may be punished as a contempt of the Court making such order. No finding of contempt shall be a bar to prosecution for a substantive offense under this Chapter, but:
(1) Any person so held in contempt shall be entitled to credit for any punishment imposed therein, against any sentence Imposed upon conviction for that offense; and
(2) Any conviction or acquittal for any substantive offense under this subchaptear shall he a bar to subsequent punishment for contempt arising out of the same act.
(c) A person who violates an order made pursuant to this subchapter may be punished by revocation of any form of pre-trial release, by the forefeiture of bail, and/or by the issuance of a bench warrant which requires the defendant's arrest or which remands the defendant into custody. Said revocation may, after a hearing, and upon a showing by a clear and convincing evidence in the sound discretion of the Court, be made either where the violation complained of has been committed by the defendant personally, or has in any way been caused indirectly or through the encouragement of the defendant.
§3537. Pre-trial Release
Any pre-trial release of any defendant (Whether on ball or under any other form of recognizance) shall be deemed, as a matter of law, to include a condition that the defendant neither do, nor cause to be done, nor knowingly permit to be done on his behalf, any act proscribed by this chapter hereof and any willful violation of said condition is subject to sanction as prescribed In 53536 whether or not the defendant was the subject of an order under 53535.
From and after the effective date of this chapter, any receipt or any bail or bond given by the clerk of any court, by any surety or bondsman and/or any other form of conditional release shall contain in a conspicuous location, notice that such ball bond, or other release is conditioned upon strict adherence to the requirements and prohibitions of this Chapter.
Approved June 22, 1982.