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Tampering with a Witness or Evidence of a Crime

If you've been arrested for Tampering a Witnesses or arrested Tampering with Evidence of a Crime, Florida's laws and the prosecutors who enforce them have harsh remedies for these transgressions. Witness Tampering is described as knowingly using intimidation or physical force, threats, misleading conduct, or offers of money meant to influence the testimony of a witness. In Jacksonville, Orange Park, and St. Augustine, these cases are most commonly associated with homicide or serious gun related charges. Because these crimes hinder ongoing prosecutions, prosecutors often take hard lines on these matters. An experienced defense lawyer with good relations with the prosecutors is a must in these types of cases.

Tampering with evidence is described as harming the evidence that can be used for prosecution. Most tampering with evidence charges are associated with drug offenses and there is significant case law regarding these charges cannot be maintained as a matter of law. However, these are very serious charges and you need a criminal defense attorney on your side. At Arnold Law Firm, we practice not just the science of lawyering but the art of being a lawyer. We don't just tell, but make the prosecutor, judge or jury feel and experience the client's story. Contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys for a 30 minute free consultation today at f.

914.22 Tampering with or harassing a witness, victim, or informant; penalties.

1) A person who knowingly uses intimidation or physical force, or threatens another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, or offers pecuniary benefit or gain to another person, with intent to cause or induce any person to:

(a) Withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official investigation or official proceeding;

(b) Alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the integrity or availability of the object for use in an official investigation or official proceeding;

(c) Evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official investigation for an official proceeding;

(d) Be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process;

(e) Hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of information relating to the commission or possible commission of an offense or a violation of a condition of probation, parole, or release pending a judicial proceeding; or

(f) Testify untruthfully in an official investigation or an official proceeding, commits the crime of tampering with a witness, victim, or informant.

(2) Tampering with a witness, victim, or informant is a:

(a) Felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a misdemeanor.

(b) Felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a third degree felony.

(c) Felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a second degree felony.

(d) Felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a first degree felony or a first degree felony punishable by a term of years not exceeding life.

(e) Life felony, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a life or capital felony.

(f) Felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the offense level of the affected official investigation or official proceeding is indeterminable or where the affected official investigation or official proceeding involves a noncriminal investigation or proceeding.

(3) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from:

(a) Attending or testifying in an official proceeding or cooperating in an official investigation;

(b) Reporting to a law enforcement officer or judge the commission or possible commission of an offense or a violation of a condition of probation, parole, or release pending a judicial proceeding;

(c) Arresting or seeking the arrest of another person in connection with an offense; or

(d) Causing a criminal prosecution, or a parole or probation revocation proceeding, to be sought or instituted, or from assisting in such prosecution or proceeding; or attempts to do so, commits the crime of harassing a witness, victim, or informant.

(4) Harassing a witness, victim, or informant is a:

(a) Misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a misdemeanor.

(b) Felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a third degree felony.

(c) Felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a second degree felony.

(d) Felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a first degree felony.

(e) Felony of the first degree, punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the official investigation or official proceeding affected involves the investigation or prosecution of a felony of the first degree punishable by a term of years not exceeding life or a prosecution of a life or capital felony.

(f) Felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, where the offense level of the affected official investigation or official proceeding is indeterminable or where the affected official investigation or official proceeding involves a noncriminal investigation or proceeding.

(5) For the purposes of this section:

(a) An official proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the offense; and

(b) The testimony or the record, document, or other object need not be admissible in evidence or free of a claim of privilege.

(6) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, no state of mind need be proved with respect to the circumstance:

(a) That the official proceeding before a judge, court, grand jury, or government agency is before a judge or court of the state, a state or local grand jury, or a state agency; or

(b) That the judge is a judge of the state or that the law enforcement officer is an officer or employee of the state or a person authorized to act for or on behalf of the state or serving the state as an adviser or consultant.

History.--s. 3, ch. 72-315; s. 44, ch. 75-298; s. 14, ch. 84-363; s. 4, ch. 88-96; s. 12, ch. 91-223; s. 225, ch. 91-224; s. 1, ch. 92-281; s. 33, ch. 2004-11; s. 19, ch. 2008-238.

918.12 Tampering with jurors.

Any person who influences the judgment or decision of any grand or petit juror on any matter, question, cause, or proceeding which may be pending, or which may by law be brought, before him or her as such juror, with intent to obstruct the administration of justice, shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--s. 1, ch. 72-315; s. 1540, ch. 97-102.

918.13 Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

(1) No person, knowing that a criminal trial or proceeding or an investigation by a duly constituted prosecuting authority, law enforcement agency, grand jury or legislative committee of this state is pending or is about to be instituted, shall:

(a) Alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any record, document, or thing with the purpose to impair its verity or availability in such proceeding or investigation; or

(b) Make, present, or use any record, document, or thing, knowing it to be false.

(2) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

History.--s. 2, ch. 72-315. The third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

Updated as of September 1, 2009 from http://www.flsenate.gov/.

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