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Image of attorney Paul Saputo talking about Tampering with Government Record

Tampering with Government Record

The Tampering with Government Record crime in the state of Texas gives police the right to arrest you if they believe you faked, altered or destroyed a government record, or that you have a blank record that you intended to use falsely or if you trade in any such false records. Learn more detailed information about the Tampering with Government Record offense below.

Have you been charged with Tampering with Government Record? Call criminal lawyer Paul Saputo at (888) 239-9305.

Tampering with Government Record is classified in the Texas Penal Code under Title 8 “Offenses Against Public Administration,” Chapter 37 “Perjury and Other Falsification.”

What is the law in Texas about Tampering with Government Record?

The offense is described in Section 37.10 of the Texas Penal Code.

(a) A person commits an offense if he:

(1) knowingly makes a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record;

(2) makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record;

(3) intentionally destroys, conceals, removes, or otherwise impairs the verity, legibility, or availability of a governmental record;

(4) possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with intent that it be used unlawfully;

(5) makes, presents, or uses a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity; or

(6) possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with knowledge that it was obtained unlawfully.

How can I be charged with Tampering with Government Record?

You can be charged with Tampering with Government Record if the state’s attorneys believe that each of the elements of 37.10(a) as described in the section above have been met.

What is the punishment for Tampering with Government Record?

A conviction for Tampering with Government Record is punished by default as a Class A misdemeanor, unless the actor’s intent is to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a state jail felony,1 and there are also a number of ways that the offense might be punished as a different offense grade (see footnote 1). Learn about the differences between grades of felonies and misdemeanors


Legal References:

1Texas Penal Code Section 37.10(c) & (d):

(c)(1) Except as provided by Subdivisions (2), (3), and (4) and by Subsection (d), an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the actor’s intent is to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a state jail felony.

(2) An offense under this section is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record was:

(A) a public school record, report, or assessment instrument required under Chapter 39, Education Code, data reported for a school district or open-enrollment charter school to the Texas Education Agency through the Public Education Information Management System (PEIMS) described by Section 42.006, Education Code, under a law or rule requiring that reporting, or a license, certificate, permit, seal, title, letter of patent, or similar document issued by government, by another state, or by the United States, unless the actor’s intent is to defraud or harm another, in which event the offense is a felony of the second degree;

(B) a written report of a medical, chemical, toxicological, ballistic, or other expert examination or test performed on physical evidence for the purpose of determining the connection or relevance of the evidence to a criminal action;

(C) a written report of the certification, inspection, or maintenance record of an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, or other similar device used in the course of an examination or test performed on physical evidence for the purpose of determining the connection or relevance of the evidence to a criminal action; or

(D) a search warrant issued by a magistrate.

(3) An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is a governmental record that is required for enrollment of a student in a school district and was used by the actor to establish the residency of the student.

(4) An offense under this section is a Class B misdemeanor if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is a written appraisal filed with an appraisal review board under Section 41.43(a-1), Tax Code, that was performed by a person who had a contingency interest in the outcome of the appraisal review board hearing.

(d) An offense under this section, if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the governmental record is described by Section 37.01(2)(D), is:

(1) a Class B misdemeanor if the offense is committed under Subsection (a)(2) or Subsection (a)(5) and the defendant is convicted of presenting or using the record;

(2) a felony of the third degree if the offense is committed under:

(A) Subsection (a)(1), (3), (4), or (6); or

(B) Subsection (a)(2) or (5) and the defendant is convicted of making the record; and

(3) a felony of the second degree, notwithstanding Subdivisions (1) and (2), if the actor’s intent in committing the offense was to defraud or harm another.

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