Stacy and Sharon snuck out one Saturday night, and decided to smoke marijuana together. Stacy was speeding on the freeway ,when she saw a police vehicle flagging her down. Sharon instantly swallowed the joint to get rid of it as Stacy pulled to the right side of the road.
Would you do that if you felt as if you were going to get in trouble? I would hope that you say no, because that is Tampering with evidence which could lead to serious charges. Tampering with evidence is the intent to knowingly change or get rid of evidence that can potentially convict you, such as the example given above. Evidence includes any object that has something to do with an investigation or pending trial. A person can be charged with this if they intentionally tamper or plant evidence with the intent to sway the verdict of a case(aizmanlaw.com).
Tampering with evidence is a charge of either a felony or misdemeanor, as well as a fine. In 2013, the Amendment D.C Law 19-317 states that any person fined for tampering with evidence shall not go above $5,000(aizmanlaw.com).This essay will accurately portray different ways that there are to tamper with evidence such as: planting it , trying to hide it, or destroying the evidence.
First, Tampering with evidence can be done in many ways such as someone planting it. Planted evidence is evidence that was set at a scene to make it look like the person accused, did it. As well as evidence that was changed (definitions.uslegal.com). Said Persons who are found tampering with evidence are deemed misdemeanors, which can lead up to more than 6 months in jail or either a $1,000 dollar fine. In the case of an officer planting evidence, they would be committing a felony. When convicted of this, officers can either face up to a year of probation or 2-5 years in state prison(shouselaw.com). If a person did not like someone and wanted them gone, they could easily fabricate evidence to get the them convicted. Thankfully, this is recognized so if someone is found planting evidence they will be convicted as stated above.
For example, a Baltimore police officers body camera caught him planting evidence near the scene of a recent conviction (nytimes.com). He says that he was just checking out the scene when really he just wanted to sway the judges verdict, and get the person recently taken into custody, convicted. The Officer was charged with a misdemeanor, which maximum sentence is 3 years in prison and up to a $5,000 dollar fine. Because of Misconduct within the office, the judge can charge the Baltimore cop however he pleases as long as it does not involve cruel and unusual punishment (baltimoresun.com). This data is useful to the claim, because it shows what can happen to officers who think that using their authority over the people they’re suppose to protect can lead them into the same predicament as the people they convict.
Another example would be the OJ Simpson case. On June 1993, OJ’s ex wife Nicole Brown’s body was found stabbed multiple times outside of her home. Detectives went to Simpsons home to let him know of the devastating news about his wife, when they spotted blood on his white ford. However, OJ’s blood sample was missing from the lab. It could not be documented as “ lost blood” because the sampler was not sure of how much blood was taken. Also, the blood was not turned to the lab immediately (www.crimemuseum.org). It’s believed that an officer took the blood and planted it at the scene to get OJ convicted, and because of this OJ was deemed not guilty (www.forensicscolleges.com). This example supports the claim, because it shows evidence that was planted at a scene to make it look like an individual committed the crime.As well as, get the accused not only taken into custody but convicted.
In addition, tampering with evidence also goes as far as trying to hide it. This is the first thought of many who feel like they’re a bout to be arrested. Hiding evidence can range from drugs and guns hidden under a mattress to putting a body in the trunk of a car. For example on an episode of “Psych”, Gus found his boss lying on the ground dead with a note in his hand. He was trying to cover his tracks and ended up making the scene a mess. He asked a friend named shawn to help with the cleaning process and the hiding of what was used(tvtropes.org). This example is useful to the claim, because it shows how Gus tried tampering with evidence by hiding his cleaning tools and gloves so that the crime would not be traced back to him.
As well as, in the video game “ Heavy rain” the girls Shelby and Lauren had to wipe away their fingerprints after conducting an investigation of a clock store so that they would not end up being associated with the murder and death of Manfred(tvtropes.org). This data supports the claim, because it shows people in desperate means trying to hide evidence so their prints don’t point them to the murder.
Lastly, Destroying evidence is apart of tampering with evidence. The correct term for this being “Spoliation”. Spoliation is the intent to knowingly get rid of evidence that is relevant to a legal case. Destroying evidence is a gross misdemeanor which include pricey fines, and jail time(shouselaw.com). For example, Bobby was a young drug dealer that did most of his business online. That was because he could target minors or others that can’t legally purchase marijuana at dispensaries. Because most of his business was done online he would Email, or even facebook message his customers.
Someone had told the school police that Bobby was a dealer and how he did business. Bobby did not have anything on him while he was at school, however his phone was on school grounds just not with him. Before going to the office he gave his friend Charles his phone in case of a search. His friend Charles deleted all of the documents that were vital to the case , because he did not want his close friend to be convicted(criminal-lawyers.com). He was caught and fined $2000, as well as sentenced to two years of probation. This example manifests a man trying to help his friend by tampering with evidence that resulted in him being fined and charged, because he intentionally destroyed evidence.
Another case in point, a police officers close family friend was arrested for the murder of a gymnast. The officer collected a gun at the crime scene, however he never turned it in because he did not want his family friend to end up behind bars. The officer wiped the gun so that it would be free of prints and threw it into a dumpster far from the crime scene. His body cam last showed the gun being taken to the car, the rest after that was history. The officer was charged with a felony that resulted in 3 years in prison, and a fine of $5,000 dollars. This data aids the quote, because it reveals an officer disposing evidence needed to convict a murderer just to keep him out of jail. Furthermore, it shows the results of his actions.
To conclude, Tampering With evidence is not ethically permissible. This act is never right, because this messes up the investigation process. Tampering with evidence could even mean that justice would not be served. With that being said, Tampered evidence should not be something that you participate in. Make the right choices, because” even in a bad situation, there’s always a positive side. Even if you can’t see it yet”(Colasanti, Take me there).