Is it a crime to withhold evidence?

Is it a crime to withhold evidence?

Penal Code 135 PC is the California statute that makes it a crime willfully to destroy or hide evidence that you know to be relevant to a trial, police investigation, or other legal proceeding. This offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a term of up to 6 months in county jail.

What is the penalty for withholding evidence?

It is an offence to tamper with evidence or use fabricated evidence with the intent to mislead a judicial tribunal in a proceeding. This offence is punishable with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

What happens if you withhold evidence?

A prosecutor who withholds evidence that may help the defense, or, in some cases, even exonerate the defendant, not only thwarts justice but violates his or her duty to the citizens (People of the State of California) a prosecutor is sworn to represent.

What does it mean to withhold evidence?

failing to give evidence that needs to be given or not disclosing some piece of information when asked to do so.

How long does it take to tamper with evidence?

Penalties. Typically a charge of Evidence Tampering in California is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in county jail. A conviction of Evidence Tampering involving law enforcement officers is a felony punishable by two to five years in state prison.

What factors do prosecutors consider in making a charging decision?


  • The sufficiency of the evidence linking the suspect to the offense.
  • The seriousness of the offense.
  • The size of the court’s caseload.
  • The need to conserve prosecutorial resources for more serious cases.
  • The availability of alternatives to formal prosecution.
  • The defendant’s culpability (moral blameworthiness).

What is withholding evidence called?

Spoliation of evidence is the intentional, reckless, or negligent withholding, hiding, altering, fabricating, or destroying of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding.

What would be the effect in the case when there is tampering of evidence?

Tampering with evidence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. State prison for up to 20 years for felony tampering with evidence. You may be ordered to pay as much as $10,000 on a state conviction. Federal sentencing may include fines and up to 20 years in prison.

What is planting evidence?

Definitions of planting evidence the crime of putting something stolen or illegal on someone or hiding it in their possessions without their knowledge so that they appear to be guilty when it is found. “Three police officers were convicted for planting evidence at the scene.”

What factors influence the charge of a case?

Public opinion and important support groups often affect their decisions on charges. For example, a prosecutor may file charges on every shoplifting case, no matter how weak, to curry favor with local store owners who want to get the word out that shoplifters will be prosecuted.