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In NSW, tampering with evidence is an office that carries a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment.
The offence of tampering with evidence is contained in section 317 of the Crimes Act 1900, which states: A person who, with intent to mislead any judicial tribunal in any judicial proceeding: (a) suppresses, conceals, destroys, alters or falsifies anything knowing that it is or may be required as evidence in any judicial proceeding, or fabricates false evidence (other than by perjury or suborning perjury), or (c) knowingly makes use of fabricated false evidence is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.
In order to convict you of an offence under this section, the Prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt:
This is a Table 1 offence and will be dealt with in the Local Court unless you or the Prosecution elect to have the matter heard in the District Court. If the matter is dealt with in the District Court, it will give rise to harsher penalties.
Intensive correction order for a tampering with evidence charge (ICO): This option has replaced periodic detention. The court can order you to comply with a number of conditions, such as attending counselling or treatment, not consuming alcohol, complying with a curfew and performing community service. Read more.
Periodic detention for a tampering with evidence charge (commonly known as weekend detention): This form of imprisonment ceased to be a sentencing option in October 2010.
Suspended sentence for a tampering with evidence charge: This is a jail sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the jail sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of up to two years. Read more.
Community service order for a tampering with evidence charge. (CSO): This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order. Read more.
Good behaviour bond for a tampering with evidence charge: This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years. .
Fines for a tampering with evidence charge: When deciding the amount of a fine for a tampering with evidence charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set. Read more.
Section 10 for a tampering with evidence charge: avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead. Read more.
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.