California Penal Code Section 136.1 - Interpretation

In People v. Lyons (1991) 235 Cal. App. 3d 1456, the defendant was convicted of violating section 136.1 by writing a letter to the victim he robbed attempting to dissuade the victim from testifying at the defendant's preliminary hearing. In discussing the specific intent required for an attempt to dissuade under section 136.1, the Court stated: "In an appropriate context it is permissible to use 'dissuade' in the intransitive sense such that a person could engage in an act of communication which in fact dissuaded a witness from testifying without intending that result. In section 136.1 that possibility is attenuated by the modifier 'knowingly,' which makes clear that the relation of act to consequence must be known to the actor. Such a knowing act is ordinarily a criterion of intention. (See People v. Rogers (1985) 172 Cal. App. 3d 502, 512, 217 Cal. Rptr. 809; In re Stonewall F. (1989) 208 Cal. App. 3d 1054, 1062, fn. 7, 256 Cal. Rptr. 578 'It is the knowledge of the near certain causal consequence' which marks this form of intention..)" ( People v. Lyons, supra, 235 Cal. App. 3d at p. 1461; parallel citations and.)