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Planting or Tampering with Evidence – California Penal Code PC 141

Posted by Raoul Severo | Nov 01, 2020 | 0 Comments

The outcomes of a legal proceeding will solely depend on the facts of the case. Thus, people would do everything to provide evidence to sway the judge and jury on their side. However, as a desperate attempt, people often manipulate pieces of evidence to interfere with the trials' results. This is called planting and tampering. To discourage people from committing this criminal act, the state of California enacted California Penal Code PC 141.

False Evidence

False or fake evidence are pieces of falsified evidence planted in the crime scene to manipulate the outcomes of the investigation. To discourage people from committing such hideous acts, the states of California enacted Penal Code PC 141.

PC 141

PC 141 or the evidence planting and tampering states that anyone who knowingly, willfully, intentionally, and wrongfully alters, modifies, plants, places, manufactures, conceals, or moves any physical matter, digital image, or video recording, with specific intent that the action will result in a person being charged with a crime or with the specific intent that the physical matter will be wrongfully produced as genuine or true upon a trial, proceeding, or inquiry, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Law Enforcers

A peace officer who knowingly, willfully, intentionally, and wrongfully alters, modifies, plants, places, manufactures, conceals, or moves any physical matter, digital image, or video recording, with specific intent that the action will result in a person being charged with a crime or with the specific intent that the physical matter, digital image, or video recording will be concealed or destroyed, or fraudulently represented as the original evidence upon a trial, proceeding, or inquiry, is guilty of a felony punishable by two, three, or five years in the state prison.

Prosecution

A prosecuting attorney who intentionally and in bad faith alters, modifies, or withholds any physical matter, digital image, video recording, or relevant exculpatory material or information, knowing that it is relevant and material to the outcome of the case, with the specific intent that the physical matter, digital image, video recording, or relevant exculpatory material or information will be concealed or destroyed, or fraudulently represented as the original evidence upon a trial, proceeding, or inquiry, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, or two or three years.

Here are some of the acts that directly violate PC 141:

  • Changing the positioning of the evidence,
  • Hiding or concealing the evidence,
  • Making or manufacturing evidence,
  • Moving evidence,
  • Planting or placing the evidence in specific places, or
  • Tampering with the evidence.

Penalties for Planting or Tampering Evidence

Civilian

Misdemeanor

  • A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000), and
  • Incarceration in a county jail for up to six (6) months, or both.

Law Enforcer

Felony

  • Incarceration for two (2), three (3), or five (5) years in state prison

Prosecution

  • Felony punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, or two or three years.

Legal Defense  

When facing evidence planting and tampering accusations under California Penal Code PC 141, the defendant's legal counsel can use the following conditions in support of the defendant's case:

  • The defendant is being falsely accused of committing the crime,
  • There is a mistake of fact, or
  • There is not enough evidence to incriminate the accused.

False accusations – This condition is used as a defense when the defendant claims that he/she is wrongfully accused of committing a crime he/she did not commit.

Mistake of fact

Insufficient evidence – This condition is used when no evidence points to the defendant's involvement in the criminal offense. Without evidence, the defendant is innocent in the eye of the law.

Facing PC 141 accusations can greatly hurt a person's civil and social reputation, plus the monetary penalty, along with the risks of incarceration, can significantly dent one's wallet. To avoid facing these hassles, the moment one ever had the misfortune of being accused of such crimes, it would be their best interest to seek our lawyers' assistance. Our team of top-notch California based lawyers can assist them or their parties in lowering, if not totally dismissing, any accusations and charges thrown unto them.

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