What are the Penalties of Tampering with Evidence in TX?

Texas law takes interfering with criminal cases very seriously, and this includes anyone who might have tampered with evidence in the course of a criminal investigation or case. Whether you have been falsely accused or you made an error when it comes to evidence, you need to aggressively defend against tampering charges with the help of an Austin criminal defense attorney.

Examples of Evidence Tampering

There are many different reasons why you might be accused of evidence tampering, many of which might not seem serious at the time. If you or someone you know is under investigation or facing charges of a crime, the following are some examples of possible evidence tampering:

  • Throwing away a smartphone that might have evidence on it
  • Erasing your computer hard drive
  • Shredding documents or subpoenas
  • Hiding a weapon that was used to commit a crime
  • Swallowing a controlled substance, so police do not find it

Investigators might question you or arrest you regarding evidence tampering, and you should never answer their questions without the representation of an Austin criminal defense attorney. Saying the wrong thing - even when you are trying to prove your innocence to investigators - can only make a bad situation much, much worse.

Texas Law on Tampering with Evidence

In Texas, You commit this offense if you know that an investigation or official criminal proceeding is happening and:

  • You destroy, alter, or conceal anything that could be evidence intending to impact its availability or legitimacy to investigators; OR
  • You present or make anything as evidence knowing it is false intending to impact the outcome of the investigation or criminal proceeding.

You can also face allegations for knowing an offense was committed and trying to take action to make evidence unavailable in the subsequent investigation or criminal case. Finding a human corpse and failing to report it to authorities when it is reasonably clear that an offense was committed is also a form of evidence tampering.

Possible Additional Penalties

If you are charged with a crime, allegations of evidence tampering can make the situation much worse. Tampering can be charged as a third-degree felony, which brings a possible two to ten years in prison and fines up to $10,000 per conviction.

Imagine that you were arrested for possession of a small amount of drugs, which is a misdemeanor charge. If you then tried to eat or otherwise dispose of the drugs before police could take them, your misdemeanor case might then turn into a felony tampering case. There are many situations in which cases become significantly more serious due to evidence tampering allegations.

Seek Help from an Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer

Because evidence tampering can increase the severity of your charges and penalties, you want to have the proper defense against all of your charges. The Austin criminal defense attorneys at Granger and Mueller PC know how to defend against these charges, so please contact us online or call 512-474-9999 as soon as possible.