Tampering with Physical Evidence
Kentucky law prohibits tampering with physical evidence. Tampering with physical evidence is considered to be a type of obstruction of justice. A tampering charge is a felony offense that is treated very seriously by prosecutors and police because the existence and integrity of physical evidence is essential to securing a criminal conviction. A felony conviction carries life-changing consequences. If you have been charged with tampering with physical evidence, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who will put your strongest defense forward in your tampering case, negotiate with prosecutors and police, and defend your freedom and interests.
Louisville criminal defense attorney and former prosecutor Ron Aslam has the experience and skills to fight the tampering charges against you and work towards the best possible outcome of your tampering case and any other underlying criminal charges.
How is tampering with physical evidence defined? To convict a person for tampering with physical evidence in Kentucky, the prosecution must prove:
* the defendant believed at the time of the offense that an official legal proceeding was pending or might be instituted; and the defendant
* Destroys, mutilates, conceals, removes, or alters physical evidence which he believes is about to be produced or used in the official proceeding with intent to impair its verity or availability in the official proceeding; or the defendant
* Fabricates any physical evidence with intent that it be introduced in the official proceeding or offers any physical evidence, knowing it to be fabricated or altered.
Tampering with physical evidence is a felony offense punishable by 1-5 years of imprisonment.
An official proceeding is defined as any proceeding before a governmental body that is authorized to hear evidence under oath. Most typically, an official proceeding involves the filing of criminal charges in a court of law. However, tampering with physical evidence charges may result from official proceedings before the legislative and executive branches. Physical evidence itself is defined as any article, object, document, record, or other thing of physical substance. It is not necessary that the physical evidence be admissible in court or under a subpoena to support a tampering charge.
Tampering with physical evidence can take many forms. A classic example is when a suspect who is being chased by the police swallows, hides, or throws away drugs. Other examples include changing the date or other information on documents, burning, or erasing incriminating documents, wiping the fingerprints off a firearm, or planting false evidence at a crime scene.
Depending on the specific facts of each case, there may be defenses available to fight tampering charges. Prosecutors must prove each element of a tampering charge beyond a reasonable doubt just like any other crime. This is a very high bar to meet. Knowledge of a pending or imminent official proceeding is an essential element of tampering that may be difficult for law enforcement to prove. A related concept is when a person merely abandons property rather than attempting to impair the item’s use as evidence in an official proceeding. Also, actions that are merely incidental to the commission of a crime cannot be used to secure a conviction for tampering with physical evidence. An example of an incidental action is merely keeping drugs in a pocket during a police pat-down- without any overt action taken to hide the evidence from the police.
Every case is different and if you have been charged with tampering with physical evidence, contact Kentucky attorney, Ron Aslam, for a consultation to examine your case and to fight for your rights and your freedom. Ron is a former Kentucky prosecutor who himself brought tampering charges, and he has the experience and skills to find the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, whether it be limited or unreliable physical and testimonial evidence, illegally obtained evidence and confessions, and so on. If you have a defense to the tampering charge, Ron will zealously present your defense to avoid or lessen criminal liability.
Ron has years of experience in getting the best results for his clients. Whether through winning a not guilty verdict or reduced sentence, negotiating a favorable plea agreement, or working to end a criminal investigation, he has the proven results you want in a criminal defense attorney, and he can put his skills and experience to work for you in fighting the tampering charges against you.
Contact Louisville Attorney Ron Aslam Today
If you have been charged with the crime of tampering with physical evidence, you could be facing serious criminal penalties. Call Louisville criminal defense attorney Ron Aslam today at 502.581.1676 today to begin the process of defending your freedom.