Tampering with Evidence
If you were charged with tampering with evidence the crime is often coded into the system as “TAMP4000 TAMPERING WITH PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (DESTROY).”
Section 918.13(1) prohibits tampering with or fabricating physical evidence while knowing that a criminal trial or proceeding or an investigation by a duly constituted prosecuting authority, law enforcement agency, grand jury, or legislative committee of this state is pending or is about to be instituted.
In subsection (a), the statute prohibits altering, destroying, concealing, or removing any record, document, or thing with the purpose to impair its verity or availability in such proceeding or investigation.”
In subsection (b), the statute prohibits making, presenting, or using any record, document, or thing, knowing it to be false.
Under either subjection, the crime of tampering with evidence is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Attorney for Tampering with Evidence Charges in Tampa, FL
If you were accused of TAMP4000 TAMPERING WITH PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (DESTROY), then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Tampa, FL, at Sammis Law Firm. We also have a second office located in New Port Richey, in Pasco County.
In addition to crimes for tampering with a witness under Section 918.13(1), related offense including:
- Tampering with a Witness under Section 914.22(1); or
- Retaliating Against a Witness under Section 914.23.
We also represent clients charged under Section 843.23 with TAMPERING WITH AN ELECTRONIC MONITORING DEVICE, as a third-degree felony, related to any of the following:
- continuous alcohol monitoring “CAM”;
- Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring “SCRAM”; or
- Global Positioning System “GPS” monitor.
In many of these cases, the electronic monitor is required as a condition of pre-trial release.
Our criminal defense attorneys represent clients throughout the greater Tampa Bay area including Hernando County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, Manatee County, Sarasota County, Hillsborough County, and Polk County, FL.
Elements of Fabricating Physical Evidence in Florida
Florida Statute Section 918.13, F.S., prohibits tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. The elements of the crime including:
- the defendant knew that a criminal trial or proceeding, or an investigation by a prosecuting authority, law enforcement agency, grand jury, or legislative committee is pending or about to be instituted;
- acted by altering, destroying, concealing, or removing any record, document, or thing with the purpose to impair its verity or availability in the proceeding or investigation; or
- acted by making, presenting, or using any record, document, or thing, knowing it to be false.
A person accused of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence can be charged with a third degree felony which is punishable by up to five (5) years in Florida State Prison.
A person may only be convicted of tampering with evidence in circumstances where the person has the specific intent to destroy or conceal evidence to such an extent that it is unavailable for trial or investigation. E.I. v. State, 25 So.3d 626 (Fla. 2d DCA 2009).
Prior to October 1, 2022, the criminal penalty for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence does not vary based on the severity of the underlying crime that is being investigated or prosecuted.
So a person accused of tampering with evidence in a murder investigation is subject to the same penalty as a person that is accused of tampering with evidence in a case involving misdemeanor marijuana possession.
Effective October 1, 2022, CS/HB 287 amended s. 918.13, F.S., to increase the penalty if a person tampers with or fabricates physical evidence in a criminal trial, proceeding, or investigation relating to a capital felony from a third degree felony to a second degree felony.
The most commonly prosecuted examples of a capital felony include:
- first degree murder
- capital sexual battery
- specified drug trafficking offenses.
The bill ranks the offense of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence relating to a capital felony as a Level 6 offense on the Criminal Punishment Code’s offense severity ranking chart (OSRC).
A conviction for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence in an investigation or court proceeding involving any other crime remains a third degree felony.
Tampering with physical evidence remains a Level 3 offense on the OSRC.
The bill ranks the previously unranked offense of fabricating physical evidence as a
Level 3 offense on Florida’s Criminal Punishment Code’s offense severity ranking chart.
Tampering with a CAM, SCRAM, or GPS in Florida
The attorneys at Sammis Law Firm also represent clients charged with tampering with the Continuous Alcohol Monitor (CAM), the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM), or the Global Positioning System “GPS” monitor.
If you are accused of tampering with a CAM, SCRAM, or GPS, then you can be charged under Section 843.23 with tampering with an electronic monitoring device, which is a third-degree felony.
We also help clients petition the court for the removal of the electronic monitor while on pre-trial release.
This article was last updated on Monday, October 10, 2022.