Tampering With Physical Evidence in Kentucky
Tampering with physical evidence is a serious crime in Kentucky. If convicted of tampering with physical evidence in Kentucky, you could spend up to five years in jail, depending on the specifics of your case. Generally, this offense involves intentional interference with an investigation or legal proceeding. If you’ve been arrested for tampering with physical evidence in Kentucky, the first thing you should do is contact a skilled criminal defense attorney. An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation and defend your case. An experienced defense lawyer can protect your rights.
Defining Tampering With Physical Evidence
The offense of tampering with physical evidence is defined under Kentucky Statutes 524.100. A person is guilty of tampering with physical evidence if they hide, destroy, remove, mutilate, or alter evidence they believe will be produced or used in an official proceeding with the intention of impairing its accuracy or availability in the proceeding. Physical evidence includes things such as weapons, drugs, documents, tools, and clothing. In Kentucky, the offense of tampering with physical evidence also involves fabricating physical evidence with the intention that the evidence will be introduced in a legal proceeding or offering physical evidence, knowing the evidence is forged or altered.
Penalties for the Offense of Tampering With Physical Evidence in Kentucky
The crime of tampering with physical evidence is considered a Class D felony in Kentucky. According to Kentucky Statutes 532.060, Class D felonies in Kentucky are punishable by at least one and up to five years in jail. Being convicted of a Class D felony can also result in a person paying a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000.
Potential Defenses To Tampering With Physical Evidence in Kentucky
Just as with any other crime, the prosecutor has the burden of proving that a defendant is guilty of tampering with physical evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. The defendant cannot be convicted if the prosecutor cannot prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
To create doubt in the jurors’ minds, a defense attorney may use several defenses, depending on the case’s specifics. The following are some of the potential defenses to tampering with physical evidence charges;
- Lack of intent: Intent is the key element of the crime of tampering with physical evidence. The prosecutor must prove that the defendant willfully or purposefully interfered with evidence. If the defendant’s actions were accidental, this might serve as a defense.
- No knowledge of a pending investigation or official proceeding: If the defendant did not know there was an ongoing investigation or the evidence would be presented in a legal proceeding, that could be a defense.
- Coercion: If the defendant was forced to tamper with the evidence, that could be a defense.
- Mistaken identity: If someone other than the accused tampered with the evidence, the accused can present the mistaken identity argument.
- Mistake of fact: This defense can be raised if the accused mistakenly believed the things they destroyed were irrelevant to any investigation or official proceeding.
What To Do When Facing Tampering With Evidence Charges
When facing tampering with evidence charges, the following are some vital steps to take;
- Seek legal counsel
- Understand the charges against you
- Exercise caution. For example, don’t discuss your case with others
- Do not talk to the police
- Preserve evidence
- Remain calm and composed
Contact a London Criminal Defense Attorney
Our qualified London criminal defense attorneys at Cessna & George Law firm can help you if you are facing tampering with physical evidence charges. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.