Have you Been Charged with Tampering with Evidence in Georgia?
Tampering with evidence can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony in Georgia. It is important to understand the difference between the two and know what you have to prove in order to formulate an effective defense. Lawson and Berry and their team of Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys have over 50 combined years of experience, and there is nothing they cannot handle. Contact them today for a free case evaluation and see how they can help.
Georgia Law O.C.G.A. §16-10-94
A person commits the offense of tampering with evidence when, with the intent to prevent the apprehension or cause the wrongful apprehension of any person or to obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person, he knowingly destroys, alters, conceals, or disguises physical evidence or makes, devises, prepares, or plants false evidence.
Georgia Case Law
A man was convicted of tampering with evidence after altering physical evidence with the intent to obstruct the prosecution of a crime. Gurr v. State, 238 Ga. App. 1, (1999). The defendant, Gurr, and her brother, Miller, possessed 248.5 grams of cocaine found in her backyard. Miller told Gurr's attorney that the cocaine had been found in a hole in the back fence of the Gurr house. When Gurr's attorney asked him to take photographs of the hole, they showed a new hole on the neighbor's side of the fence. They didn't match up with the photographs that the police officers presented. The jury inferred that when Miller went to take the photographs, he dug a hole on the neighbor's side of the fence to give the impression that the neighbors had equal access to the stash of cocaine. Therefore, Miller was convicted of tampering with evidence.
Felony Tampering with Evidence
Felony tampering with evidence occurs when a person violates the statute involving the prosecution or defense of a felony and involving another person.
Penalty for Felony Tampering with Evidence
If convicted of felony tampering with evidence, the suspect will be charged with a felony and will be punished by a prison term between one and three years.
However, if the suspect was involved in the prosecution or defense of a serious violent felony and involving another person, the penalty increases to a prison term between one and ten years.
Misdemeanor Tampering with Evidence
Any person who violates O.C.G.A §16-10-94 involving the prosecution or defense of a misdemeanor will be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Penalty for Misdemeanor Tampering with Evidence
The penalty for misdemeanor tampering of evidence will be a fine not to exceed $1,000, jail time for up to one year, or both.
Georgia Defenses to Tampering with Evidence
The tampering was accidental: Intent to tamper is an element needed, therefore, if it was accidental, then the defendant could be acquitted of the charges.
Having experienced representation is of the utmost importance when facing a criminal charge. Your Georgia Tampering with Evidence Attorney will investigate all the details surrounding your case and evaluate your options. They will be available all the time to you – even nights and weekends – because your case is important. Lawson and Berry and their team of Attorneys will work with you to fight your charge and avoid a conviction. Call today and schedule a free consultation.