What is Tampering With Evidence in New York?

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What is Tampering With Evidence in New York?


When you are accused of a crime it is very important that you leave the evidence alone. You should not destroy, alter, falsify, or conceal any evidence that might have a bearing on your case. It’s also important to avoid offering any exculpatory evidence that you know to be false evidence.

This crime is covered by New York Penal Code Article 215.40

This charge often comes up in drug cases where the defendant is thought to have tried to “flush” the drugs in question as the police made their way into the home. This is an add-on charge, and you can be convicted of this charge even if you are acquitted of the charges that originally led to your arrest. 

Recent Cases

There have been a few recent cases of tampering with evidence. 

If you give prosecutors any grounds for stating that you have altered evidence in any way you can expect that they will be likely to add this charge. They’ll add as many charges as they can in order to obtain a conviction for something, even if it wasn’t the “big” crime they were trying to prosecute in the first place. 

Penalties for Tampering with Evidence

Tampering with Evidence is a Class E non-violent felony. It is punishable by up to 4 years in prison. In some cases, we may be able to work out a deferred prosecution agreement or a probation agreement for this crime, if the underlying crime you’ve been charged with in conjunction with “tampering with evidence” was not in and of itself a violent crime. 

Defending Tampering with Evidence Charges in New York

One way we can defend these charges is to demonstrate that there was no intent to tamper with the evidence. Accidental destruction or removal of evidence is not tampering. You must know the item was evidence and you must be aware that an investigation is underway. 

Note that if you know an item is illegal and would be evidence of a crime—such as drugs, or human remains—then this defense will not work, as you would know by the very nature of the evidence that an investigation will probably be underway soon.

Fortunately, if you’re working with us, we’ll be able to go over all of your options and help you find your best path forward after a tampering with evidence charge. Reach out to Greco Neyland to get help today.

See also:

What is Tampering With a Witness in New York?

When Can You Be Accused of Resisting Arrest in New York? 

Is It a Crime to Insult a Police Officer? 


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