Gloved hand picking up evidence

Preparing False Evidence

For the majority of us, it comes as common sense that using false or tampered evidence in a court of law is not exactly the brightest idea. However, it is not just foolish; it is illegal. Both trying to submit and otherwise preparing fake evidence are considered obstructing justice. In many states in the United States of America, it is a very serious offense to present false evidence, and it is equally punishable to tamper with evidence that would otherwise be permissible in the courtroom. Even if this “evidence” never actually gets used by either sides of a case, it is still considered to be against the law.

Regardless of the severity of the crime in which you are trying to submit false evidence for, you will still face the same penalties for obstructing justice. In other words, you would be penalized the same for submitting tampered evidence in a kidnapping charge and for preparing fake evidence in a petty thieving trial. In general, criminals facing these charges could be imprisoned for up to three years, depending on where they committed the crime. This could result in needing the help of a professional bail bondsman.

However, penalties can also be lower; in some cases, individuals are sentenced to anywhere from one and a half years to two years of jail time. Similarly, judges can choose to lessen the penalties to a mixture of probation, one year in prison, and or a monetary fine.

Intent to Mislead

However, you can not be held responsible for either of these offenses unless the lawyer opposing you can actually prove that you had intent. It goes to say that in order to be convicted of these charges, the litigator must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you both knew that the evidence was fake, and you were attempting to mislead people in court. Needless to say, this criteria can be very difficult to prove; lawyers are not mind readers, so practically the only way they could convict you of committing such a crime is with presenting written evidence, a confession, or some other form of empirical evidence.

Coercion

Preparing false evidence or presenting fake evidence are crimes in all court proceedings. Although most people would only consider this to include civil or criminal trials, it also accounts for any other type of hearing under the law. Although professing lack of intent or knowledge when confronted with charges of tampering with evidence or submitting fake evidence are the two most common defenses, there is one other. Unfortunately, in many cases, members of law enforcement will coerce you into planting false evidence on someone else in order to prosecute said person. To get you to do this, officers will sometimes resort to flattery, but threats and harassment are sadly seen more. If this happens to you or someone you know, you can fight the charges by saying that you were forced into it; this is otherwise known as entrapment.

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