Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence charges (simply called “Tampering”) in PA covers a lot of scenarios. From removing a key piece of evidence from a homicide (like a weapon) to providing to the police false evidence such as a falsified photography to an expert providing a false entry or false entries on a resume, the acts it covers is wide. It is not a slap on the wrist offense because judges know that this type of charge goes to the heart of the criminal justice system.
When folks ask: “Who is the best tampering with evidence attorney near me?” The answer is always The McShane Firm. When you need the best criminal defense lawyer, contact us. We fight.
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You can read the exact statute here:18 P.S. § 4910. Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.
What the government must prove:
Presumption of Innocence
First it’s about a mindset. Even experienced criminal defense attorneys adopt the wrong mindset. When the government charges you with any crime, it is just a naked allegation. While it is true that the government does not have to prove the complete and total impossibility of guilt, a reasonable doubt is a doubt based upon reason and common sense—the kind of doubt that would make a reasonable person hesitate to act.
Second, the power of the oath makes it so jurors must follow the law. The law includes the command that the accused at all times has the presumption of innocence. A criminal trial is not where the jury is being asked to decide who told the better story or if the government told a story that is possible or even very very likely. It is about the government’s case.
The jury is no referee
The jury is not there to be a referee. That’s the judge’s role. The jury is not standing in between the prosecutor and the accused. The jury is on the side of the accused. The court isn’t asking the jury to choose which side is better.
So in the jury deliberation room, the jury needs to act consistent with that presumption of innocence. To do that, jurors ought to start with the verdict slip marking the verdict as not guilty before a word is uttered, before the foreperson is selected and before anyone even sits. This is done with ink because of how hard it is to erase is like how hard it is to remove that presumption of innocence.
Beyond a reasonable doubt
The only way the jury can lawfully and with a good conscious give a verdict of guilty, and leave our side, is if the prosecutor presents such quantity and quality of evidence that the only reasonable interpretation of the facts is that of guilt.
A brick wall called reasonable doubt now stands before us all. Unless the government knocks down every brick, doubt still exists, and you go home. Reasonable doubt can come out of the evidence (what someone said, what someone said they saw, what someone said they did) or FROM A LACK OF EVIDENCE (somethings that the government didn’t explain, what doesn’t make sense, questions unanswered, or anything).
The elements (requirements) for Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence:
The government must prove each of these numbered events beyond a reasonable doubt. If not, then you remain as you started before this whole thing started: innocent. The government must prove:
- the accused
- believing that an official proceeding or investigation is pending or about to be instituted, he:
- alters, destroys, conceals or removes any record, document or thing with intent to impair its verity or availability in such proceeding or investigation; or
- makes, presents or uses any record, document or thing knowing it to be false and with intent to mislead a public servant who is or may be engaged in such proceeding or investigation.
This charge is a misdemeanor of the second degree (M2s). All M2 offenses have a maximum penalty of jail not more than two years and a maximum fine of $5000.00.
But with a misdemeanor conviction there is just so much more to worry about. In truth, jail is temporary. The conviction and its consequences are permanent. You must consider Misdemeanor Conviction Consequences in Pennsylvania.
Again, this is if the worst thing happens. We make sure the worst doesn’t happen. Let’s see how we can fight and beat the government, ok?
All you have to do is contact us. We will come running.
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