Los Angeles Destruction of Evidence Defense Lawyers
According to California Penal Code 135 PC, it is a misdemeanor to destroy or conceal evidence. Examples of destroying evidence in California include obstructing justice by concealing or destroying evidence; destroying evidence to prevent it from being used in a legal process, including a criminal investigation or prosecution; and destroying evidence by burning, mutilating, or disposing of it in an unreasonable manner.
The destruction of evidence is a serious crime that can lead to severe penalties. If you or someone you know has been accused of destroying evidence, consult with an experienced Los Angeles defense lawyer at Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP at (213) 688-0460.
Types of Evidence That May Be Destroyed
The following types of evidence may be destroyed:
- Evidence that is no longer needed for the investigation or prosecution of a criminal case,
- Evidence whose retention is not required by law, or
- Evidence whose retention is not necessary for an agency's recordkeeping needs, or the preservation of which does not serve any other public interest.
What Prosecutors Must Prove To Convict Someone of Destroying Evidence
To convict someone of destroying evidence in California, prosecutors must prove these two elements:
First, they must show that the defendant knew (or should have known) that they were supposed to preserve the evidence. This means that if you're accused of destroying evidence related to a crime, you're not guilty if you didn't know you were supposed to keep it.
Second, it needs to be proved that the defendant intentionally destroyed or concealed physical evidence, or altered it with the intent to prevent or hinder the discovery or use of the physical evidence in an official proceeding.
Types of Criminal Proceeding That May Be Subject To Destruction of Evidence Charges
The relevant evidence must be the subject of a court case, such as:
- A criminal trial,
- A police investigation into possible criminal conduct occurring at a correctional institution,
- A hearing on a parole infraction, or
- A criminal investigation that has not yet produced any arrests.
Penalties for Destroying Evidence in California
The first type of criminal proceeding is punishable by up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. It is important to remember that when determining the type of sentence you will receive, the judge takes into account your criminal history and other factors.
Have Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP on Your Side
If you've been accused of destroying evidence in Los Angeles, Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP has experience working with clients who face these types of accusations. We'll work hard to help you understand what happened and how we can help you get through this difficult situation. We'll always give you honest advice so that you know exactly what your options are and what risks each option entails.
If you have any questions about your case or if you'd like more information about our services, please call us at (213) 688-0460 today!
Contact Werksman Jackson & Quinn LLP Today
Phone: (213) 688-0460
Fax: (213) 624-1942
Recent Case Results
- Complete Dismissal of Molestation Charges
Attorney Mark Werksman’s 29 year old client was falsely accused of molesting two neighborhood children and was subsequently charged with felony child molestation, with a significant prison sentence hanging over his head should he be convicted. Instead, at the preliminary hearing Werksman was able to convince the court to grant his client a complete dismissal of any charges.
- Decision Set Aside
Client, a college student in a faulty Title IX case, was awarded $130,000 in attorney fees.
- Probation with No Jail Time for Drug Money Laundering Charge
Wilmington man accused in New York federal court of laundering drug money through the sale of laptop computers. Mark was able to get the case transferred to federal court in Los Angeles, where he convinced the United States Attorney to reduce the charges. His client was sentenced to probation with no jail time on a misdemeanor conviction.