07 Jun Tampering With Evidence in Arizona
Remember when you were a kid and broke your mom’s cherished vase or spilled juice on her favorite living room rug? Your natural instincts probably kicked in as you hurried to get rid of any and all evidence of your indiscretion. Maybe you cleaned the scene of the crime or threatened your little sister, who had witnessed the whole affair, that if she squealed she’d live to regret it. But somehow, when your mom came in from watering the flowers, she immediately noticed the glaring red spot on the rug or the conspicuously absent vase. And you were caught trying to clean up your mess! It’s not too different as an adult relating to today’s legal system. If you tamper with evidence in order to manipulate the outcome and avoid punishment, you may just get caught. At Coolidge Law Firm, serving the Phoenix Metro Area, we specialize in criminal law. If you’ve received a criminal charge in Arizona, and even perhaps tampered with evidence linked to a criminal trial, we can help.
What Does it Mean to Tamper With Evidence?
Suppose a criminal uses intimidation to keep an eyewitness from testifying. Or, because a police officer has hinged his case and even his reputation on incriminating a defendant, the officer uses a faulty hair analysis as evidence in a trial. From manipulation of a witness testimony to meddling with physical evidence, tampering with evidence is a serious crime in Arizona that is punishable by a severe sentence.
According to ARS 13-2809, a person commits the crime of tampering with evidence if, in an attempt to manipulate the outcome of an official proceeding, such person:
- Destroys, mutilates, alters, conceals, or removes physical evidence with the intent to impair its verity or availability.
- Knowingly makes, produces, or offers any false physical evidence.
- Prevents the production of physical evidence by an act of force, intimidation, or deception against any person.
The Punishment for Tampering With Evidence
If you are convicted of one of these unlawful actions, you’ve committed a Class 6 Felony, which is punishable by up to a year in prison, in addition to fines. The reason tampering with evidence results in such a heavy punishment is somewhat apparent. If you attempt to interfere with the outcome of a criminal trial, someone may end up not being charged—or worse, imprisoned for life for a crime they did not commit.
When facing a criminal charge, it’s of utmost importance to have an experienced defense attorney. If you’ve been charged with tampering with evidence or any other criminal charge in Arizona, contact us today at Coolidge Law Firm. We’re thorough, we’re proficient, and we care.