Defenses to Tampering with Evidence Charges - How To Fight and Beat A Tampering Case
Generally speaking, tampering with evidence involves altering, destroying, or concealing something in order to prevent it from being used by the police. There are several issues that may arise in the defense of criminal charges for tampering with evidence. The following are two often seen issues:
There must be a proceeding or investigation
In order for the alteration of evidence to be criminal tampering, there must be a pending proceeding or investigation AND the subject must be aware of the investigation. For example, if police are surveilling a person suspected of drug dealing and they observe the person conceal drugs under a rock, yet the person is not aware that the police are watching him or her, then the act of concealment is not tampering. Law enforcement will typically need to provide evidence indicating that the subject was aware of the investigation or of their presence.
The evidence must actually be altered, destroyed, or concealed
Attempting to abandon or get rid of evidence is not necessarily tampering. For instance, tossing a bag of drugs out of a car window in the presence of law enforcement does not necessarily mean that one is trying to alter or destroy it. It can be argued that he or she is simply trying to abandon it and get rid of it.
Tampering with evidence in Florida is a third-degree felony
A violation of Florida Statute 918.13 for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence is a felony of the third degree punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Because one is charged with tampering does not necessarily mean that they are going to prison. Every case and situation is entirely unique.
This law firm has successfully convinced the State Attorney's Office to drop charges of tampering with evidence. Please call us for a consultation to review your case and options