In many criminal matters, the State’s case hinges on physical evidence. Thus, if a criminal suspect alters or attempts to alter evidence during the course of an investigation for a crime, in addition to any charges arising out of the investigation, the suspect may also be charged with tampering with evidence. The Court of Appeals of Texas, Houston, recently discussed the elements of the crime of tampering with evidence in a case in which the defendant was found not guilty, and the State appealed. If you reside in Texas and are charged with tampering with evidence or any other crime, it is advisable to meet with a knowledgeable Texas criminal defense attorney to talk about your available defenses.
Facts Regarding the Defendant’s Arrest and Trial
It is reported that the defendant was sitting in a truck on the side of the road when a police officer approached him. The officer began questioning the defendant and noticed the defendant trying to shove something under his seat. Ultimately, the officer determined that the item that the defendant was trying to place under the seat was a syringe. The officer forced the defendant from the truck and to the ground, at which point the syringe fell and broke. The officer asked the defendant if he was trying to break or hide the syringe, and the defendant responded that this was his intention.
Allegedly, the police extracted liquid from the syringe, and testing revealed the liquid was methamphetamine. The State subsequently charged the defendant with tampering with evidence and possession of a controlled substance. A jury convicted the defendant on both counts, after which he appealed. On appeal, the court reversed the defendant’s conviction for tampering with evidence. The State then filed a motion for rehearing on the tampering charge, which the court granted.