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Tampering with Evidence in Ohio – Understanding the Law

Tampering with evidence might not be something we think about often, but in Ohio, it’s a serious felony under Ohio Revised Code Section 2921.12. Understandably, legalese can be complex, so here’s a breakdown of what constitutes evidence tampering:

  • Knowing that there’s an ongoing, imminent, or likely official process such as an investigation or proceeding;
  • Then the individual intentionally:
  • Alters, hides, destroys, or disposes of any item, record, or document to undermine its significance or availability in the investigation or legal process;
  • Creates, submits, or employs any record, document, or item that they know is false; and
  • Does so either to deceive a public official who is or may be involved in the investigation or proceeding, or
  • To distort the outcome of that legal process or investigation.

The Ohio Supreme Court brought more clarity to this on May 29, 2014. They highlighted that the intent to reduce the evidence’s value or availability during the legal process is key to this crime.

To be convicted of tampering, one must know that the evidence in question could be significant in a current or future criminal investigation. The court takes into account whether the evidence is connected to any crime that the accused is being investigated for.

Conversely, if the piece of evidence that’s been manipulated is unrelated to the case at hand, then it may not be considered evidence tampering.

Additional Information

  • Perspectives from Prosecutors: An article from a Mahoning County Prosecutor in Ohio provides insights into recent decisions on evidence tampering. This publication by the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association explores the elements of the crime and how law enforcement determines charges.

If you’re facing allegations of Evidence Tampering in Youngstown or other communities in Mahoning County, it’s critical to seek knowledgeable legal counsel. Youngstown Criminal Law Group has a wealth of experience handling these severe offenses against justice.

We advocate fiercely on behalf of our clients, striving for the most favorable outcomes in their cases. Our team has a comprehensive understanding of criminal defense, and we’re prepared to leverage our Youngstown criminal lawyer here for you.

If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our dedicated Youngstown OVI lawyers are available at (330) 992-3036 to offer support and guidance.

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