Planting or Tampering with Evidence
The criminal justice system depends on the presentation of evidence in order to prove the guilt of a defendant (or claims) by meeting a set burden. Such a reliance requires the following assumption to be valid: the evidence is truthful and has not been tampered with. If evidence has been planted or tampered with, there are serious criminal ramifications. Those found guilty of planting or tampering with evidence can face a criminal conviction and possible jail time. The information below serves as a summary of the crime; however, if you have been accused of this crime it is imperative that you consult with experienced criminal attorneys, such as those at Law Advocate Group.
How Does the Planting or Tampering of Evidence Occur?
This crime falls under California Penal Code 141 and is viewed as a serious offense. Like all other criminal charges, the prosecution must prove several elements to be true beyond a reasonable doubt. The elements require proving that the defendant intentionally planted, changed, hid, moved, or tampered with evidence, the defendant did the aforementioned acts knowingly, and the defendant committed such acts with the intention of including them in a legal proceeding. If false evidence is included, a legal proceeding is no longer operating on the facts as they happened or the truth.
Penalties for Planting or Tampering with Evidence
If the prosecution successfully proves the above elements beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant faces a misdemeanor. This misdemeanor conviction can require spending up to six months in jail and potentially paying fines. However, if the person who planted or tampered with evidence was a police officer, the crime is elevated to a felony. In such a case, the convicted officer can spend up to five years in a state prison.