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What Does it Mean to Tamper with Evidence?

You can get criminal charges if you intentionally destroy evidence that would help the prosecution or defense in a criminal case or if you plant evidence with the intention of making an innocent person appear guilty.

You have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, so why does the court order some defendants to be detained in jail until their trial, not even setting a bail amount for them? Sometimes it is because there is a high risk that the defendant will flee, and authorities will not be able to find them. More often, though, the risk is that the defendant will try to intimidate witnesses or destroy evidence that could incriminate them. This is called tampering with evidence, and it is a crime whether or not the person who destroys the evidence is currently facing criminal charges in a case that relates to the evidence. Tampering with evidence charges also apply if you attempt to plant evidence in order to frame an innocent person for a crime you committed. If you are facing criminal charges for tampering with evidence, contact an Atlanta criminal defense lawyer.

Can You Get Criminal Charges for Throwing Away Trash or Decluttering Your Computer Hard Drive?

Georgia Code Title 16.10.94 defines the crime of tampering with evidence as intentionally destroying, altering, disguising, or planting physical evidence that would aid the prosecution or defense in a criminal case. If the evidence is related to a misdemeanor case, then tampering with it is a misdemeanor, and if it is related to a felony case, tampering with it is a felony. These are some scenarios where someone could get charged with tampering with evidence:

  • A defendant is facing charges for drug trafficking. While free on bail, he deletes the files and apps from his computer and phone that show his communications with sellers and buyers.
  • A defendant is facing charges for rape; the victim was a guest at a party he hosted. While in jail, he instructs his housemates to discard his bedsheets and the clothes he wore on the day of the party in a dumpster behind a shopping center.
  • A defendant is facing charges for murder. She is also charged with tampering with evidence, because she allegedly planted the victim’s blood-stained socks in the bed of the victim’s husband’s pickup truck to make it look like the husband committed the murder.

The penalty for felony tampering with evidence is one to ten years in prison. If you are facing charges for tampering with evidence, a defense lawyer can help you advance the best possible defenses.

Contact Atlanta Criminal Defense Lawyers About Tampering with Evidence Charges

It is possible to go to prison just for deleting files from your computer or flushing drugs down the toilet. A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you have been accused of tampering with evidence in a criminal case, whether you allegedly did so to protect yourself or to protect someone else. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia about your case.