In a criminal trial, the prosecutor presents documents, records, statements,
and other objects as evidence to build their case against a defendant.
Because of this, a person can face severe penalties if they destroy anything
that could potentially be submitted during the trial.
Destroying or Altering Physical Evidence
Florida Statute 918.13 prohibits tampering with or fabricating physical
evidence. Specifically, if a person knows that a criminal trial or investigation
is pending, and they falsify, hide, wreck, or remove anything that could
be used as evidence, they could be charged with a third-degree felony.
It is also illegal for the individual to make or provide anything they
know to be fake to anyone involved in the criminal proceedings. A conviction
for this offense is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
To prove that an individual tampered with evidence, the prosecutor must
show that the defendant:
- Knew that there was an investigation or trial on the horizon
- Knew the object or document they destroyed or altered was evidence
- Destroyed the evidence with the intent to impair its ability to be used
in the investigation or court
Harassing Individuals Who Could Testify in or Provide Physical Evidence
for the Case
The prosecutor’s case may also rely on testimony or information provided
by witnesses, victims, and/or informants. Florida Statute 914.22 makes
it against the law to threaten, use physical force, or use any form of
intimidation against another person to prevent them from providing statements,
records, or other items to individuals involved in the investigation of
a crime. Under this statute, it is also unlawful to coerce another individual
to make false statements to investigators or prosecutors.
Violators of this law could be charged with a misdemeanor or felony. The
level is determined by the crime that is being investigated and depends
on whether the defendant tampered with or harassed the other individual.
Request a Free Consultation with Albaugh Law Firm
Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who
were charged with
misdemeanors. When you work with us, we will take the time to get to know you and listen
to your side of the story so we can begin to build a legal defense for
To schedule your case evaluation, call us at (904) 637-1839 or
contact us online.