Knoxville Evidence Tampering Lawyers

Tampering with or Fabricating Evidence

Tampering with or fabricating evidence is a crime in Tennessee and typically involves someone destroying or altering evidence with the intent to hinder an investigation or official proceeding. The crime also includes presenting evidence the defendant knows to be false. These offenses are classified as Class C felonies.

If you have been charged with either of these crimes, the attorneys at the law offices of Baker Associates can defend your rights under the law. With years of criminal defense experience, we can help you understand the complex legal issues that arise when charged these crimes. Through diligent and thorough research and investigation, we find weaknesses and inconsistencies in the government's case. In fact, our dynamic criminal defense lawyers have successfully defended similar cases and will do everything in their power to defend your rights and work toward the best possible outcome.

Tampering with Evidence

Under T.C.A. 39-16-503, tampering with evidence is a Class C felony. To be found guilty of this offense, the state must prove all the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the defendant knew an investigation or official proceeding was pending or was in progress. An "official proceeding" means any type of administrative, executive, legislative or judicial proceeding that may be conducted before a public servant authorized by law to take statements under oath. Thus, a pretrial deposition is an official proceeding because it is a judicial proceeding conducted before a public servant and under oath.

  2. That you altered, destroyed or concealed evidence with the intent to impair its verity (truthfulness), legibility, or availability as evidence in the investigation or official proceeding. For purposes of this law, evidence is a record, document or thing. Abandonment of evidence does not fall within the definition of evidence tampering.

Whether the defendant acted with the requisite mental state (i.e., "intent to impair investigation or official proceeding") is often the most difficult element of the state's proof. The case, State v. Bass, is an example of how the state can use circumstantial evidence to prove intent to impair. In that case, officers searched the home of the defendant and her daughter. During the search, the defendant and her daughter locked themselves into the upstairs bathroom, which hindered the officers from searching the bathroom for several minutes. A subsequent search of the bathroom revealed a bag containing the torn and shredded remains of several counterfeit coupons and certificates. From this evidence, the jury found a reasonable inference of intent to hinder the investigation of the home.

Consequences and Penalties

Tampering with or fabricating evidence is a Class C felony. If charged, you are facing between three and fifteen years in jail. In addition, the jury may assess a fine not to exceed $10,000. Penalties may also include supervised release and/or probation.

Protecting the Rights of Our Clients

There are complex and difficult evidentiary and legal issues involved in trying and defending evidence tampering or fabrication cases. Consequently, you will want an experienced attorney who can competently defend you against these charges.

By engaging in fierce representation and investigation into the legal issues of your case, our lawyers will mount a strong defense against any evidence tampering or fabrication charges. Do not put your case and quality of life at risk by making the wrong legal choices. Discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense lawyer at our offices near Knoxville and Sevierville, Tennessee.

Contact a criminal defense lawyer by completing the form below.

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Knox County
2126 First Tennessee Plaza
800 South Gay Street
Knoxville, Tennessee 37929

Phone: (865) 521-0001
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Sevier County
121 Court Avenue
Sevierville, Tennessee 37862

Phone: (865) 546-6000
Toll-free: (866) 853-2888

Washington County
300 East Main Street
Johnson City, Tennessee 37601

Knoxville White Collar Crime Attorney Disclaimer: The evidence tampering, evidence fabricating, criminal charge, criminal defense or other legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact an attorney at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of Tennessee.

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