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Tampering and False Information

Tempering evidence or providing false information to a law enforcement officer are crimes grouped under the umbrella of “obstruction of justice”. The classifications for these crimes range from a first degree misdemeanor to a first degree felony punishable by life imprisonment.

Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence

Tampering with evidence means to alter, destroy, conceal, or remove physical evidence such as a document, record, or item. Fabricating means to create, present, or use any record, document, or item knowing that it is false evidence. Proving that the defendant had knowledge is essential to charges of tampering or fabricating evidence. Aside from knowing the evidence is false, the state must also prove that the defendant knew that a criminal trial or proceeding or an investigation was pending at the time of the offense. If the State can’t prove this, then you can’t be found guilty. Tampering with or fabricating evidence is a third degree felony punishable by up to five years of imprisonment, five years of probation, and a fine of $5,000.

Tampering With or Harassing a Witness

Generally, tampering with or harassing a witness is a much more serious crime than tampering with evidence. To be convicted of this crime, the state must prove that the defendant used or attempted to use intimidation or force, threatened, engaged in misleading conduct, or offered a benefit or gain to the witness with the intent to cause the witness to withhold testimony, alter evidence, evade or legal proceedings or investigations, or testify untruthfully. The possible punishment depends on the circumstances:

  • First degree misdemeanor – If the harassment of the witness was done to affect an investigation or proceeding that involves a misdemeanor. Punishable by one year imprisonment, one year of probation, and a fine of $1,000.

  • Third degree felony – If the harassment of the witness was done to affect an investigation or proceeding that involves a third degree felony; or if tampering or harassment with a witness is done with the intent to affect an investigation or proceeding involving a misdemeanor or if the proceeding is indeterminable or a noncriminal infraction. Punishable by five year s of imprisonment, five years of probation, and a fine of $5,000.

  • Second degree felony – If the harassment of the witness affects the investigation or proceeding of a second degree felony. Punishable by ten years imprisonment, ten years of probation, and a fine of $10,000.

  • First degree felony – If the harassment of the witness affects the investigation or proceeding of a first degree felony; or if the witness tampering affects a second degree felony investigation or proceeding. Punishable by Punishable by 30 years imprisonment, 30 years of probation, and a fine of $15,000. If the harassment or tampering of the witness affects an investigation or proceeding of a first degree felony punishable by life, then the punishment for witness tampering or harassment is also life imprisonment.

  • Life felony – If the witness tampering affects the investigation or proceeding involving a capital felony, such as homicide. Punishable by life imprisonment.

False Information to Law Enforcement

Providing false information to a law enforcement officer is a crime when the information is provided during a missing person investigation or a felony criminal investigation. In addition, the State must prove that the defendant knew that the law enforcement officer, and that they intended to mislead or impede the investigation. If successfully proven by the state, providing false information to a law enforcement officer is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year of imprisonment, one year of probation, and a fine of $1,000. The crime can also be a third degree felony if the defendant has a prior conviction of providing false information, and the current charge is corroborated by a written or recorded statement, audio recording, or another person who was present; or if the information is communicated through writing. If proven, a third degree felony is punishable by up to 5 years of imprisonment, 5 years of probation, and a fine of $5,000.

The Thompson Law Approach

At Thompson Law, we believe firmly that the best defense is one that is uniquely crafted to fit the circumstances of your case. No matter how similar cases may be, the facts are never identical. Using a cookie-cutter approach that some big law firms use simply does not get the best results for clients. We take the time to sit down with each client, actively listening to their recount of their arrest. Even before you decide to hire attorney Matt Thompson, your free case evaluation can happen right here at our office so that you get the benefit of meeting your attorney before making a final decision. If you or a loved one is facing jail time, one of the most important choices you’ll have regarding your defense is which law firm to hire. We would be honored to have Thompson Law be your number one choice.

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