Intimidation is the act of behaving in such a way as to make someone else fear for their safety or well-being. It is closely related to threatening behavior or a terroristic threat. Threats in general are more specific and concrete than intimidating behavior. For instance, a threat might involve someone brandishing a weapon or telling something what they’re going to do to hurt them (although a threat need not be spoken in order to be prosecutable).
However, intimidation is potentially harder to pin down. Behavior intended to make someone fear for their behavior can vary from situation to situation. Michigan law doesn’t make all intimidating behavior illegal. There are two cases, however, where intimidation is a felony.
Intimidation of a Witness
Michigan law forbids anyone from intimidating anyone “to influence a person’s statement to a police officer” or “the presentation of evidence to a police officer” during a criminal investigation. If you’re charged with intimidating a witness during an investigation, you’ll be facing a year of imprisonment or a $1,000 fine.
However, if you are charged with intimidation by attempting to commit a crime, threaten or injure anyone, or cause property damage, you’ll be charged with a felony and facing 10 years of prison time and $20,000 in fines.
Michigan is also one of the few states that criminalizes intimidation on the basis of someone’s race, skin color, religion, gender, or nation of origin. You’ll face charges of “ethnic intimidation” if you’re accused of physical contact, property damage, or verbal or physical threats against someone for any of those reasons.
Ethnic intimidation is a felony that comes with up to 2 years of prison time and $5,000 in fines. Defendants will also be subject to civil prosecution from the victim, who will be entitled to three times the property or emotional damage they’ve suffered or $2,000—whichever is greater.
Whether you’ve been charged with ethnic intimidation or intimidation of a witness, I’m prepared to do whatever is legally necessary to fight your charges and reduce your penalties. I, Daniel D. Hajji, Attorney at Law, have served the criminally accused in Michigan since 2002. I have the experience and winning record that defendants need for the most serious charges, and I’m no stranger to tough cases.
Learn your legal options today by calling (248) 599-0054 or contacting me online. I offer free consultations and I’m available 24 hours a day, so call whenever you need me.