California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

2621. Influencing a Witness by Fraud

Download PDF
2621.Influencing a Witness by Fraud (Pen. Code, § 137(b))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with using fraud to
influence a person to (give false (testimony/ [or] information)/ [or]
withhold true (testimony/ [or] information)) [in violation of Penal Code
section 137(b)].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
1. The defendant used fraud against <insert
name/description of person defendant allegedly sought to influence>;
AND
<Alternative 2A—to give or withhold testimony>
[2. When the defendant used fraud, (he/she) intended to cause
<insert name/description of person defendant allegedly
sought to influence> to (give false testimony/ [or] withhold true
testimony).]
<Alternative 2B—to give or withhold information>
[2. When the defendant used fraud, (he/she) intended to cause
<insert name/description of person defendant allegedly
sought to influence> to (give false material information about a
crime to/ [or] withhold true material information about a crime
from) a law enforcement official.]
A person uses fraud when he or she makes a false statement,
misrepresents information, hides the truth, or otherwise does something
with the intent to deceive.
[Information is material if it is significant or important.]
[(A/The) (district attorney[,]/ [or] deputy district attorney[,]/ [or] city
attorney[,]/ [or] deputy city attorney[,]/ [or] Attorney General[,]/ [or]
deputy attorney general[,]/ [or] <insert title of peace offıcer
included in Pen. Code, § 830 et seq.>) is a law enforcement official.]
[The People do not need to prove that <insert
name/description of person defendant allegedly sought to influence>
actually (gave false (testimony/information)/ [or] withheld true
(testimony/information)).]
New January 2006
496
0026
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give this instruction defining the elements of
the crime.
Give the bracketed sentence that begins with “The People do not need to prove
that” if the evidence shows that the testimony or information of the alleged target
was not affected.
AUTHORITY
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 137(b).
Fraud Defined. People v. Pugh (2002) 104 Cal.App.4th 66, 72 [127
Cal.Rptr.2d 770].
• Law Enforcement Official Defined. Pen. Code, § 137(e).
• Specific Intent Required. People v. Womack (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 926,
929–930 [47 Cal.Rptr.2d 76].
Secondary Sources
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against
Governmental Authority, § 12.
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
The misdemeanor offense of knowingly inducing a false statement to a law
enforcement official in violation of Penal Code section 137(c) is not a lesser
included offense of section 137(b) because the latter offense lacks the element that
the defendant must actually cause a false statement to be made. (People v. Miles
(1996) 43 Cal.App.4th 575, 580 [51 Cal.Rptr.2d 52].)
RELATED ISSUES
Deceiving a Witness
Deceiving a witness is a separate crime under Penal Code section 133:
Every person who practices any fraud or deceit, or knowingly makes or
exhibits any false statement, representation, token, or writing, to any witness or
person about to be called as a witness upon any trial, proceeding, inquiry, or
investigation whatever, authorized by law, with intent to affect the testimony of
such witness, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
CRIMES AGAINST GOVERNMENT CALCRIM No. 2621
497
0027