Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence graphic with Texas flag Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence
Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence graphic with Texas flag

Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence

The Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence crime in the state of Texas makes it illegal to interfere with the evidence that could be used for criminal prosecutions. The offense also gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you failed to report a human corpse under certain circumstances.

The Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence offense covers altering, destroying, or concealing any evidence that has to do with an ongoing investigation, court proceeding or a crime that has been committed. Learn more detailed information about the Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence offense below.

Have you been charged with Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305 to discuss legal representation.

Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 37 “Perjury And Other Falsification.”

What is the current Texas law about Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence?

The current Texas law is as follows:1a

(a) A person commits an offense if, knowing that an investigation or official proceeding is pending or in progress, he:

(1) alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in the investigation or official proceeding; or

(2) makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the course or outcome of the investigation or official proceeding.

Subsection (d) describes the offense as it relates to any prior offense:

(d) A person commits an offense if the person:

(1) knowing that an offense has been committed, alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as evidence in any subsequent investigation of or official proceeding related to the offense; or

(2) observes a human corpse under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that an offense had been committed, knows or reasonably should know that a law enforcement agency is not aware of the existence of or location of the corpse, and fails to report the existence of and location of the corpse to a law enforcement agency.

How can I be charged with Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence?

You can be charged with Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 37.09(a) or (d) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence?

If the offense falls under subsection (a) or (d)(1), then a conviction for Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence is punished as a Felony of the Third Degree,1b with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 10 years.

If the offense falls under subsection (a) or (d)(1), and the thing altered or destroyed is a human corpse, then a conviction for Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence is punished as a Felony of the Second Degree,2 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years.

If the offense is a subsection (d)(2) violation (failing to report a human corpse), then a conviction is punishable as a Class A misdemeanor,3 with a maximum possible fine under Texas state law of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year. Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors

What is a lesser included to Tampering With or Fabricating Physical Evidence?

I have used the Hindering Proceedings by Disorderly Conduct offense as a lesser-included offense to Tampering with Physical Evidence. It won’t work for every subsection of the offense, but for a subsection (a)(1) or (d)(1) offense, it may be used as a lesser included.


Legal References:

1a Texas Penal Code §37.09(a)

1b Texas Penal Code §37.09(c)

2 Texas Penal Code §37.09(c)

3 Texas Penal Code §37.09(c)

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