There are two degrees, or levels, of criminal tampering. First degree criminal tampering is a Class 1 misdemeanor, while second degree criminal tampering is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
First degree criminal tampering occurs where a person, intending to interrupt or impair a service rendered to the public by a utility or by an institution providing health or safety protection, tampers with the property of a utility or institution. For example, tampering with water, power, or gas supply would constitute first degree criminal tampering, along with other possible charges.
Second degree criminal tampering occurs where a person tampers with the property of another person with intent to cause injury, inconvenience, or annoyance to that person or to another, or if he knowingly makes an unauthorized connection with property of a utility.
Tampering with Physical Evidence, a Jury, or a Witness or Victim
Tampering with physical evidence is a class 6 felony. This is a charge that can either be added to a prosecution that is already pending, or as a new case brought separately from any other pending charges.
A person can be prosecuted for tampering with evidence if they, knowing or believing that a case is pending or about to be filed, destroy, conceal, or alter evidence with the intent to make it unavailable or less reliable in that case. A person also commits tampering where they present any fake or altered evidence with the intent that it actually be used in a current or prospective case.
Tampering with a jury also is a serious crime, ordinarily a class 5 felony, but elevated to a class 4 felony when occurring in a case involving a class 1 felony. A person can be prosecuted for jury tampering where they attempt to communicate with a juror in an attempt to influence their vote or decision, or some other action in a case.
Tampering with a witness or victim also is prohibited by law. A person cannot encourage or attempt to encourage a witness or victim to either testify falsely or unlawfully withhold any testimony. The law also prohibits a person for attempting to induce a witness or victim to fail to appear for a court proceeding when that person has been legally summoned, or from attempting to induce that person to avoid legal service. Your attorney can and should speak when possible with witnesses to your case Your criminal defense attorney advising a witness or victim that they do not have any obligation to speak with the police or prosecution is not tampering – it is part of preparing a comprehensive defense. It is important, however, for your attorney to understand the distinction between what is legal and illegal in preparing your case for trial and speaking with any witnesses or victim to the alleged incident serving as a basis for criminal charges against you.
Call a Denver Defense Attorney Today
To schedule a free initial consultation, call 720-257-5346 or fill out a free case review form, and a representative from the Law Office of Kimberly Diego will contact you as soon as possible.