What Are the Consequences of Tampering with Drug Evidence in Criminal Investigations?
Want to know the consequences of tampering with drug evidence in criminal investigations? You’ve found the right blog and may need to also consult with a drug charges attorney. The evidence in a drug case is the most important component of an investigation. It’s necessary for proving whether a suspect committed a drug-related crime or not. Investigators and the prosecution will use the info and materials they’ve gathered for their case.
The suspect will then be sentenced to jail if found guilty. But tampering with this evidence is another matter. This will interfere and hamper the investigation. This will result in a suspect looking less or more guilty than intended. This will come with its own criminal penalty, if proven. Let’s discuss these consequences.
The Process of Tampering with Drug Evidence
Ordinary citizens can tamper with the evidence of a drug crime. Providing false testimonies to authorities is one way this will happen. Another is adding items to convince authorities that they’re related to the crime when they aren’t. This will include drugs themselves or associated paraphernalia. It’s tampering when accusations lead investigators into believing falsities.
The most common way this occurs is when someone steals items from a crime scene. This can also involve destroying videos before or after authorities arrive at a crime scene. Perhaps those videos showed drugs being used or exchanged. Drugs can also be flushed down the toilet to prevent authorities from finding them.
Police May Also Engage In This Behavior
It’s also possible for police themselves to engage in this behavior. This will involve planting drugs or paraphernalia at crime scenes. They can destroy evidence that would have been useful in proving a case. Documented evidence of the crime can be burned or shredded. The back-up files could be destroyed too. They can also destroy body cam or dashcam footage. This camera footage can come from citizens or the police themselves.
It’s a bit easier for the authorities to tamper with evidence in a criminal investigation. They have easier access to the evidence in a case. The police and prosecution can have the same goals. Perhaps they too strongly want to have a case thrown out. They might also want a conviction by any means necessary. There’s a higher chance of police tampering with evidence that involves other police committing crimes. The consequences of tampering will be steep if proven.
Accidentally Tampering with Drug Evidence
Knowledge of the person’s intent is necessary to prove tampering with drug investigations. That’s not easy to prove when someone tampered with evidence by accident. Accidentally tampering with evidence is not a crime. But it can still carry a penalty depending on the level of tampering. This can involve a person disposing of drugs they didn’t know were illegal. They can also accidentally destroy documented evidence of drugs being used or exchanged.
There are several cases of tampering that authorities won’t be convinced of being accidental. Anyone will have a tough time proving that drug usage on video is illegal. This will also depend on whether drugs like marijuana are legal in certain locations. Tampering with evidence to this level will lead to criminal charges if proven.
The Victims of Tampering with Drug Evidence
Tampering with drug evidence will hurt people involved with the case. This will occur regardless of whether the tampering itself is proven sometime in the future.
Tampering can result in innocent people being convicted of crimes they didn’t commit. This person will go to jail for several years. This will prevent them from spending time with friends and family for an extended time. Tampering will also make it more difficult to prove other crimes. This will upset the victim’s family. It will rob them of seeing justice and closure for the member they lost in a crime. They could have lost them to the drugs or an assorted murder.
The general public will also be a victim here. Cases could involve people who committed crimes going free. They’ll then have opportunities to commit more crimes in the future. This will pose a danger to the general public, particularly in neighborhoods with serious drug problems.
Criminals going free thanks to tampering will also be an indictment of the criminal justice system. This will also happen when innocent people are put behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit. This system runs on confidence that guilty parties will be dealt with in accordance with the law. Faith in the system is reduced when someone guilty gets off thanks to tampering. This will especially be the case when the crimes were committed by police themselves.
In Summary: What Are the Consequences of Tampering with Drug Evidence in Criminal Investigations?
Tampering with drug evidence in criminal investigations can happen with citizens. There’s a slightly better chance of this happening among the police. The authorities have easier access to the evidence. This is more likely to happen when another officer could be on the hook for drug charges. There are cases where drug evidence can be accidentally tampered with. But the person will have to convince authorities that they did so unknowingly. The act of tampering is not victimless. Innocent people can go to jail, and families will be broken up. The public will lose confidence in the criminal justice system when criminals go free. Confidence will also be lost if the wrong person is put in jail. These are the consequences of tampering with drug evidence in criminal investigations.