Can a defendant be held on a bail of tampering with evidence if there was no evidence was found?

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Can a defendant be held on a bail of tampering with evidence if there was no evidence was found?

Asked on April 23, 2009 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

Martin Matlaga / Martin D. Matlaga, Esq., LLC

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

More facts are needed. Logically, in order to "tamper" with evidence, you must have evidence to

begin with. You can't "tamper" with something that doesn't exist. On the other hand, if someone 

was arrested for a small amount of alleged cocaine powder sitting on a table and during the

person's arrest, he leaned over and blew the cocaine away, he could be arrested for Tampering

With Evidence because, even though the powder no longer exists, the police officers could testify

as to what he did. Whether that person would be convicted of Tampering With Evidence is a

different question. Maybe the white powder was actually talcum powder. Call me at (732)932-

7226 (office) or (732)710-0004 (cell).

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Two things could happen here. It may either become favorable to the defendant because there is no further means of determining whether such evidence, as believed, would convince the average mind of somebody’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt. But on the contrary, if the prosecution establishes a prima facie case, then, the burden shifts to the defendant to produce evidence of actual tampering or substitution. In my opinion, the question whether a defendant be held on bail is immaterial to whether an evidence is found or not. Therefore, the gravity of the case will determine whether a bail could be granted or not.


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