You can be charged with tampering with evidence, if it’s alleged that you altered, destroyed, or concealed evidence, and you knew that an investigation was pending.  Likewise, you can also be charged with tampering with evidence if create or use an item, knowing that it’s false, with the intent to affect the course of an investigation.  However, it’s a defense to prosecution if the item is privileged, or is the work product of one of the parties to the proceeding.  Under these circumstances, tampering with evidence is a third degree felony, with a penalty range of 2 to 10 years in state prison, and fine of up to $10,000 fine.  However, if the thing that is destroyed or altered is a human corpse, tampering with evidence is considered a second degree felony, punishable by 2 to 20 years in the penitentiary and up to a $10,000 fine.  Finally, if you learn of the existence of a human corpse, believe that a crime was committed, and fail to report its existence to law enforcment, you can be charged with tampering with evidence.  Under these facts, tampering with evidence is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in the county jail and a fine of up to $4,000. If you’ve been arrested or charged with tampering with evidence, you need serious legal help. 

Call the criminal defense attorneys at Berlof & Newton, P.C.  214.827.2800.  Free consultation.  Our lawyers have over 15 years of experience, each, in the practice of criminal defense law.  Call now, or contact one of our attorneys directly by using the “Get Legal Help Now!” form, located in the left margin of this web page.  Se habla español. Texas Penal Code Section 37.09. 

TAMPERING WITH OR FABRICATING PHYSICAL EVIDENCE.

(a) A person commits an offense if, knowing that an investigation or official proceeding is pending or in progress, he: (1)  alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in the investigation or official proceeding; or (2)  makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation or official proceeding.

(b)  This section shall not apply if the record, document, or thing concealed is privileged or is the work product of the parties to the investigation or official proceeding.

(c)  An offense under Subsection (a) or Subsection (d)(1) is a felony of the third degree, unless the thing altered, destroyed, or concealed is a human corpse, in which case the offense is a felony of the second degree. An offense under Subsection (d)(2) is a Class A misdemeanor. (c-1)  It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a) or (d)(1) that the record, document, or thing was visual material prohibited under Section 43.261 that was destroyed as described by Subsection (f)(3)(B) of that section.

(d)  A person commits an offense if the person: (1)  knowing that an offense has been committed, alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in any subsequent investigation of or official proceeding related to the offense; or (2)  observes a human corpse under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that an offense had been committed, knows or reasonably should know that a law enforcement agency is not aware of the existence of or location of the corpse, and fails to report the existence of and location of the corpse to a law enforcement agency.

(e)  In this section, “human corpse” has the meaning assigned by Section 42.08. Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1991, 72nd Leg., ch. 565, Sec. 4, eff. Sept. 1, 1991; Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1284, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1997. Amended by: Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 287, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007. Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 1322, Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2011.

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