Penal Code PC 487(a)(2) PC

PC 132 – Offering False Evidence

PC 132 - Offering False Evidence

Offering False Evidence – Table of Contents

PC 132 Offering False Evidence – Overview

Most people’s initial reaction when they’re under suspicion of a crime is to try to destroy any evidence that may be used against them. Destroying evidence may include anything from tossing a murder weapon into a lake to wiping a hard disk clean of data related to a large fraud case.

However, to be tried under California Penal Code Section 135 PC is the conduct of Destroying or Concealing evidence. The prosecution must establish the following for a conviction of destroying or concealing evidence:

  • That someone deliberately and consciously disposed of or hid evidence relevant to a case or inquiry.
  • The accused must have intended to obstruct justice by destroying or concealing evidence to be found guilty of this crime.

A common practice among corporations is destroying files after a long time. An individual could not be held criminally responsible for the destruction of documents that may become beneficial in a future inquiry if that individual had no reason to suspect those records would be needed as evidence at the time of their destruction.

It’s also important that the devastation was deliberate. There is no wrongdoing if paperwork and files are lost due to natural causes like water damage. Criminal trials, civil trials, and active police investigations are all examples of “legal procedures” under the law.

Sentencing for PC 132, Offering False Evidence

Destruction or concealment of evidence is considered a misdemeanor in California. This offense carries a maximum sentence of 6 months in county prison and a fine of up to $1,000. Destroying or concealing evidence is a serious crime; therefore, getting in touch with a good lawyer as soon as possible is crucial if you’ve been accused of this.

Some Instances of Evidence Destruction or Dissimulation

A man works for a big retail company. When firm records reach a certain age, they are routinely destroyed by shredding. Shredding papers is the man’s job, and he does it quickly and efficiently. He finds out too late that he destroyed court documents that may have helped convict the perpetrator. Because he did not know he was deleting evidence, he should not be held criminally responsible.

A male employee conducts pharmaceutical fraud regularly while working at a nearby hospital. A bill from an insurer will arrive at the workplace at some point. Fearful that he may be caught, he destroys all evidence of his fraudulent activities by shredding all papers. Deleting evidence related to a court case might put someone in jail under Penal Code section 135.

Defending PC 132, Offering False Evidence

Several typical legal defenses exist for California Penal Code 135, including the following:

  • The individual was unaware that the material was part of a criminal investigation or prosecution. If the offender was unaware that a criminal investigation was ongoing when he destroyed or hid the material in the issue, he could not be convicted of this offense.
  • The person did not delete or hide evidence maliciously. If the evidence was destroyed or hidden and the offender did not act intentionally, he should not be guilty of this offense.
  • The evidence was neither deleted nor hidden. If the evidence escaped destruction or was recoverable, the defendant cannot be found guilty of hiding or destroying evidence.
  • PC 115 – Falsifying documentation evidence
  • PC 134 – Preparing false evidence
  • PC 135 – Destroying Evidence
  • PC 136 – Intimidating witnesses

Are there any Effects on Immigration Status?

Most of the time, a conviction won’t hurt your immigration status. According to U.S. immigration law, some types of criminal convictions can lead to A non-citizen being sent away and a non-citizen being marked “inadmissible.”

Can someone get a conviction taken off their record?

A person convicted under 135 PC may be eligible for an expungement if he meets the following conditions:

  • Fulfills their sentence (whether probation or imprisonment) (whichever is relevant).

Even if a person breaks the terms of his probation, he may still be eligible to have his criminal record sealed. Yet, the court has the last say on this matter.

Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code states that: The person is freed from “all penalties and limitations” associated with that conviction when it is expunged.

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How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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