After a little holiday break , The McKinney Law Offices is back to work. Today’s post is based upon The Tennessee Supreme Court’s clarification of the crime of tampering with evidence. Under Tennessee criminal law , tampering with evidence is a felony.
Here’s what the State of Tennessee has to prove in a tampering with evidence case ;
- It must be an ongoing investigation that the defendant knows about.
- The accused must alter , destroy or conceal a record , documents or thing.
- The accused tampered with the record , document , or thing in order to impair it’s use as evidence in order to impair it’s use of evidence in the investigation.
In State of Tennessee v. Majors , The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled the government is not required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the specific identity of the thing that the accused has altered , destroyed, or concealed.The state must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused tampered with some "thing."
One recent development in tampering with evidence charges is it is being included during the presentment to the Grand Jury phase of the case in Williamson County drunk driving (DUI) cases. It is my theory that the felony is being added in some cases in an attempt to force a plea bargain to the DUI charge in order to avoid a felony conviction..
If you have any questions about tampering with evidence charges, please post your question in the comment section. I will answer your questions directly to your posted comment..