Washington law makes it a crime for you to offer false evidence in a pending legal proceeding. The crime is a serious misdemeanor under the law that can result in a one-year jail term and a fine. Please contact a skilled criminal defense attorney now if you are facing a criminal charge involving the tampering of evidence.
What is Washington’s Law on Presenting False Evidence?
RCW 9A.72.150 is the Washington statute that sets forth the crime of presenting false evidence. Per this law, you commit a criminal offense if you knowingly present or offer any false evidence in a pending legal proceeding.
For the purposes of this crime, “physical evidence” includes any:
- Record, or
- Other thing of physical substance.
Note that RCW 9A.72.150 also makes it a crime for you to destroy, mutilate, conceal, remove, or alter any physical evidence in a pending legal proceeding. Presenting false evidence and destroying evidence are often referred to as two distinct types of tampering with evidence charges.
What Are the Penalties?
Presenting false evidence is a gross misdemeanor under Washington law. The crime is punishable by:
- Custody in jail for up to one year, and/or
- A maximum fine of $5,000.
You can receive the same penalties if you are convicted of destroying evidence.
Can a Defendant Raise a Legal Defense?
Yes. You have the right to challenge a presenting false evidence charge with a legal defense. A common defense is for you to show that you did not “knowingly” present false evidence. Recall that you are only guilty of this crime if you present false evidence with knowledge that the evidence is false.
This means that you are not guilty of an offense if you present false evidence without a specific aim to do so, or without knowing that it is indeed false or fake. For example, you are not guilty of presenting false evidence if you offered it on accident or with the reasonable belief that it was legitimate or true.
Contact Black & Askerov for Help
While a defendant can raise a legal defense to challenge a presenting false evidence charge, it will take a skilled criminal lawyer to raise the best defense. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Black & Askerov have over 30 years of combined experience defending clients on tampering with evidence charges. Our Seattle criminal defense lawyers also have the skill and commitment that makes all the difference in these cases. Our attorneys will fight tooth and nail for you at every step of your case. Contact us now to get the legal help you deserve!