PC 141 – Tampering with Evidence

PC 141 - Tampering with Evidence

Tampering with Evidence – Table of Contents

PC 141 – Tampering with Evidence – Overview

Physical evidence is crucial in validating cases and assertions in the justice system. Planting or tampering with evidence to falsely accuse or free someone of a crime is a severe offense. Planting or altering evidence is against the law in California as per Penal Code Section 141 PC.

To charge somebody with Planting or Tampering with Evidence, the prosecutor must establish the following components:

  • The accused intentionally placed or manipulated evidence.
  • The defendant was aware of their actions of planting or tampering with evidence.
  • The defendant intended either to plant or tamper with the evidence.
  • Another person would be accused of committing a crime.
  • Or that the proof may be misconstrued as accurate in a court of law.

The act of planting or tampering with evidence extends beyond criminal cases. Planting or tampering with evidence in any legal proceeding, including civil or administrative actions, can lead to conviction under the statute.

PC 141 – Tampering with Evidence – Sentencing

This crime is classified as a misdemeanor offense for individuals who are not law enforcement officers. In the event of a conviction, it is conceivable that you may receive a sentence of no less than six months of confinement in the County Jail. You must spend a minimum of 50% of the duration in custody. There is a likelihood that you may incur penalties amounting to $1,000 as a result of being found guilty.

In instances where an individual is a member of the police force, this accusation is elevated to a felony offense, deemed such as people maintain an expectation of exemplary behavior from law enforcement officials. If found guilty, the potential repercussions may include confinement in a State Prison for a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 5 years. You must serve at least 50% of the given sentence in custody.

A prosecutor who purposefully changes, hides, or withholds any physical or digital evidence that could prove a defendant’s innocence to deceive the court could be charged with a felony and face 16 months to three years in prison.

This offense does not meet the criteria for a strike under California’s Three Strikes Law. Moreover, it does not pertain to a violation of sexual conduct mandating registration as a sex offender following PC 290.

Notwithstanding, given that this offense pertains to dishonesty, individuals holding Professional Licenses or undergoing Immigration procedures will probably be impacted.

An instance of a civilian fabricating proof: A woman plants drugs in her ex-husband’s house and calls the police to have him arrested so she can have full custody of their children during their divorce.

An instance where a law enforcement officer falsely places evidence to incriminate someone: A cop deliberately puts a bag of cocaine in a suspect’s vehicle and informs the station of the discovery.

PC 141 – Tampering with Evidence – Defending

Ways to defend against tampering with evidence.

A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer can present various defenses in your favor if you are accused of evidence tampering. Defenses may consist of:

Lack of knowledge. You cannot be found guilty of tampering with evidence if you were unaware that your actions involved altering, positioning, creating, concealing, or relocating tangible objects that could serve as proof.

No intention. California Penal Code Section 141 states that the manipulation or production of physical matter should result in criminal charges or the wrongful production of the material as authentic or real in a legal inquiry, proceeding, or trial. You shouldn’t be found guilty of evidence tampering if it was unintentional.

Wrong/false accusations. False accusations of evidence tampering should not lead to a conviction. Falsely accused of evidence tampering happens frequently in civil cases with heightened emotions.

Related Charges

Providing counterfeit proof as per California Penal Code 132 PC.

Using forged, faked, or manipulated evidence in a legal proceeding, trial, or inquiry can lead to three years imprisonment for a felony.

Preparing or making fake evidence – CA Penal Code 134 PC.

Preparation of forged evidence with the intent to present it as accurate, regardless of whether it is presented, is a felony offense punishable by a maximum of three years in prison.

Destroying cogent evidence according to California law 135 PC.

Intentionally concealing or destroying potentially critical evidence in a legal proceeding is a misdemeanor offense that can result in a maximum $1,000 fine and six months in county jail.

PC 141 – Hire a Lawyer

Don’t face charges related to tampering with evidence, California Penal Code Section 141 by yourself. Contacting a defense lawyer offers prompt legal advice. Begin constructing your defense with a California criminal defense lawyer.

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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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