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

UPDATED: Apr 23, 2009

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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


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

Answered 13 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 13 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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