evidence

What Are the Penalties for Tampering with Evidence in Texas?

By Peek & Toland on May 7, 2019

Tex. Pen. Code § 37.09 addresses the most common type of tampering with evidence. This criminal offense can take many forms, but tampering with evidence involves intentionally destroying, concealing, or altering physical items so that they are unavailable and cannot be used as evidence in any criminal proceedings. In order to commit this offense, you must be aware that a police investigation is occurring or ongoing. Some examples of tampering with physical evidence might include:

  • Throwing drugs out of the car or swallowing them as police approach you
  • Moving or hiding a body following a murder
  • Tossing a gun into a body of water or the trash after using it in a robbery
  • Deleting computer files, attempting to destroy a computer, or hiding portable storage media when police are investigating you for a crime

Another variation of tampering with evidence under this code section involves creating, presenting, or using a document with the knowledge that is false to try to alter the outcome of a criminal investigation.

Tampering with evidence generally is a third-degree felony under Texas law. A conviction for a third-degree felony can result in a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years and a $10,000 fine.

However, the offense becomes a second-degree felony if individuals tamper or attempt to conceal a human corpse. A second-degree felony conviction may result in as many as 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Furthermore, it is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine, for individuals to discover and fail to report a human corpse to law enforcement authorities, if they know or reasonably should know that the authorities are unaware of the corpse.

When you are charged with any type of criminal offense in the state of Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests from the very beginning of your case. Taking steps to get you released from jail and fight for your rights at the outset of your case is typically easier than waiting until your case has progressed. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team. intment

Posted in Criminal Defense, Theft Crimes, White Collar Crimes

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When Can Evidence in Criminal Cases Be Suppressed?

By Peek & Toland on February 2, 2019

Evidence in criminal cases often consists of evidence that law enforcement officers seized from you, your home, or your vehicle whether it occurs before, during, or after an arrest. However, police officers must follow certain rules in seizing evidence, and if they fail to do so, the court could order that the illegally seized evidence be suppressed or excluded from use at trial. In some cases, this can result in criminal charges being dismissed, if there is no longer sufficient admissible evidence to support the charges.

The U.S. Constitution protects all Americans from unlawful searches and seizures. In general, police must have a warrant in order to search you, your home, or your vehicle, unless an exception applies. When police conduct an illegal search that turns up evidence of criminal activity, a criminal defense attorney may be able to file a motion to suppress that evidence on the basis that it was illegally obtained.

When Can Evidence in Criminal Cases Be Suppressed?

Similarly, before a police officer can question you about matters that may lead to charges or evidence against you, that officer must read you your Miranda rights. These rights are a set of advisements about your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney represent you. An officer also should advise you that anything that you say can be used against you in court. Therefore, if a police officer gets information from you without first reading your Miranda rights in some situations, or ignores your request for an attorney, any information may be illegally obtained. This means that the court could issue an order suppressing the information or evidence due to the illegal manner in which it was obtained.

When you are charged with any type of criminal offense in the state of Texas, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your interests from the very beginning of your case. Taking steps to get you released from jail and fight for your rights at the outset of your case is typically easier than waiting until your case has progressed. Contact Peek & Toland at (512) 474-4445 today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.

Posted in Criminal Defense

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