Planting, Altering Or Concealing Physical Evidence – California Penal Code Section 141
I do bump up against this once in a while where people are planting or altering evidence. I’ve been doing this for twenty-five years across Los Angeles County and many other jurisdictions and this comes up in a number of different areas. A lot of times I actually see police planting or altering evidence. I have represented a few police officers in relation to this particular crime. But, when it involves a civilian being charged as a defendant in one of the Los Angles criminal courts related to this charge of planting, altering or concealing evidence, it probably has to do with somebody who has committed a crime – maybe they or their family members are trying to somehow get rid of evidence – whether they’re getting rid of some sort of clothes or some sort of property, and they’re doing it because they realize if that evidence is obtained by the police, then they’re going to end up getting prosecuted for a crime.
So, if you’re charged with altering evidence, any physical evidence, or planning any physical evidence in Los Angeles county – obviously you’re going to want to get in front of me, because this is not a really easy crime for the prosecutors to prove and a lot of times people have some good defenses that they can utilize in defending one of these cases pursuant to Penal Code Section 141.
Defenses to Penal Code Section 141 – Prosecution’s Planting, Altering or Concealing Physical Evidence
Obviously, people who are charged with crimes are entitled to get their own evidence. They can do their own investigation. So, this is one potential defense in one of these prosecutions is listen, yeah, I was involved with the evidence because I was getting it for my own defense so that I can defend myself and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. Where you get into a problem is where you actually start to try to destroy evidence, hide evidence from the police, and somehow alter certain evidence so that the police can’t get it – whether it be in a computer or some other area. So, these cases are not that easy to prove. When it comes to the defenses in concealing, altering or planting evidence, you really need to sit down with a seasoned criminal defense attorney. I’ve been doing this a long time. I get all the information out. A lot of times there’s a rush-to-judgment in these cases and the person is prosecuted, but they can’t meet the elements of Penal Code Section 141. They’re not able to show that anyone has altered anything, planted or concealed it and they’re really not even able to show that the defendant has done anything wrong, but someone has told some story about them and there was a rush-to-judgment and they didn’t do an investigation. They didn’t get the defendant’s version of events, and so now the person is charged with a crime. Now you have to get a criminal defense attorney in there to fight for you – to assert your rights – to show them that they don’t have a good case against you and show them that you have a defense and you can fight the case.
What I have you do is I have you to come in the office and we go over everything. I encourage you to be honest so I can have a fair account of what actually happened, and then I can figure out exactly what type of a defense might apply to you and whether your case should go to jury trial, or if on the other hand, they do have some sort of evidence that you planted evidence, you altered evidence or you concealed evidence in some way, then we’re going to figure out how to do damage control. We’re going to get your version of events across to the prosecutor and police because they don’t always get the other side. They only get a one-sided version of what happened. Once your version is put in there, now they have something else to consider. Now they have something to think about.
We get a mitigation package together and we show them – listen, here’s what’s really going on. Here’s who this person really is. Please don’t put them in jail. Don’t ruin their life. Don’t ruin their career. Don’t put a mark on their record that they can’t get off. I have a goal in all the criminal cases I do to get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible, to protect your freedom, your rights, your reputation and do everything possible to get your story across and get you the best possible result.
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