(A) No person shall knowingly attempt to intimidate or hinder the victim of a crime or delinquent act in the filing or prosecution of criminal charges or a delinquent child action or proceeding, and no person shall knowingly attempt to intimidate a witness to a criminal or delinquent act by reason of the person being a witness to that act.
(B) No person, knowingly and by force or by unlawful threat of harm to any person or property or by unlawful threat to commit any offense or calumny against any person, shall attempt to influence, intimidate, or hinder any of the following persons:
(1) The victim of a crime or delinquent act in the filing or prosecution of criminal charges or a delinquent child action or proceeding;
(2) A witness to a criminal or delinquent act by reason of the person being a witness to that act;
(3) An attorney by reason of the attorney's involvement in any criminal or delinquent child action or proceeding .
(C) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any person who is attempting to resolve a dispute pertaining to the alleged commission of a criminal offense, either prior to or subsequent to the filing of a complaint, indictment, or information, by participating in the arbitration, mediation, compromise, settlement, or conciliation of that dispute pursuant to an authorization for arbitration, mediation, compromise, settlement, or conciliation of a dispute of that nature that is conferred by any of the following:
(1) A section of the Revised Code;
(2) The Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Rules of Superintendence for Municipal Courts and County Courts, the Rules of Superintendence for Courts of Common Pleas, or another rule adopted by the supreme court in accordance with section 5 of Article IV, Ohio Constitution;
(3) A local rule of court, including, but not limited to, a local rule of court that relates to alternative dispute resolution or other case management programs and that authorizes the referral of disputes pertaining to the alleged commission of certain types of criminal offenses to appropriate and available arbitration, mediation, compromise, settlement, or other conciliation programs;
(4) The order of a judge of a municipal court, county court, or court of common pleas.
(D) Whoever violates this section is guilty of intimidation of an attorney, victim, or witness in a criminal case. A violation of division (A) of this section is a misdemeanor of the first degree. A violation of division (B) of this section is a felony of the third degree.
(E) As used in this section, "witness" means any person who has or claims to have knowledge concerning a fact or facts concerning a criminal or delinquent act, whether or not criminal or delinquent child charges are actually filed.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.83, HB 20, §1, eff. 6/4/2012.
Effective Date: 09-03-1996 .