What Is the Punishment for Tampering With Evidence?

punishment-tampering-evidence Credit: Monty Rakusen/Cultura/Getty Images

Punishment for those found guilty of tampering with evidence depends on the state in which the conviction occurs. According to Ohio criminal defense attorneys Luftman, Heck & Associates, conviction is punishable by a jail sentence of up to 36 months and a third degree felony charge. Potential offenders must first have been aware of an investigation either currently in process or imminent at the time of committing the act.

According to criminal defense law firm Hussein & Webber, Florida considers tampering of evidence to be the modification or obscuration of evidence, whether document or item, to hinder investigative proceedings. Doing so potentially leads to a felony charge and fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.

New Jersey law firm Stephen "Skippy" Weinstein includes the removal and destruction of evidence as a definition of evidence tampering. In addition, any false evidence presented with the intention to mislead or hinder an investigation is considered tampering. Further, the defendant does not need to be aware of the item's value as evidence. In New Jersey, guilty parties can receive a fine up to $10,000 and a prison sentence of up to 18 months. Luftman, Heck and Associates cautions that a felony conviction has long-lasting ramifications that can threaten current and future employment.