DESTROYING EVIDENCE WILL NOT HELP YOUR CASE

Posted on: February 18, 2015 by in Criminal Defense
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California Penal Code 132, 134, 135

Orange County criminal defense attorneyRandy Daniel Shattuck of San Jose was sentenced on September 5, 2013 to 21 months in prison for destroying evidence. The judge also imposed a fine of $3,000 and sentenced the defendant to three years of supervised release. It’s always right and natural to protect ourselves and our freedom. Sometimes, however, some of us go about it the wrong way. In California, it’s illegal to conceal or destroy evidence that you know is relevant to a trial or to any other legal investigation or proceeding. If you’re being investigated for a crime or if you’re accused of destroying evidence, get legal help at once and speak with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney. Even if the evidence is important only in a non-criminal proceeding like a personal injury case or a divorce, it’s still illegal to destroy or conceal it.

California Penal Code 135 makes it a crime to destroy or conceal evidence, but it is a crime only if you know that the evidence is going to be used as evidence and only if you destroy it “willfully.” It can put some people in a dilemma. You have a right not to incriminate yourself, but you cannot dispose of or hide evidence that might be considered incriminating. If you end up in this situation for any reason, speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Lawyer-client confidentiality will apply, but your attorney can only offer sound legal advice after learning the complete details of your situation.

Destroying or concealing evidence is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Offering false written or false physical evidence in any California legal proceeding is a felony punishable by 16 to 36 months in prison under California Penal Code 132 and 134. If you’re charged with DUI, a drug or sex crime, or a theft, fraud, or robbery in Orange County, or if you have any concerns about evidence that may be in your possession, get the legal advice you need and consult immediately with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.