Perjury & Tampering

Both Perjury and Tampering charges are similar and are often brought in conjunction with each other. Many times these charges involve situations where a defendant engages in what he or she believed at the time to be insignificant behavior such as discussing a matter with someone they know is a witness to a crime; however, this behavior is later viewed as criminal behavior.

Below are the definitions of what constitutes Perjury, Tampering with Evidence,  and Tampering with a Witness.

Perjury

“Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-156, a person is guilty of perjury if, in any official proceeding, (he/she) intentionally, (under oath / in an unsworn foreign declaration), (makes a false statement / swears, affirms or testifies falsely), to a material statement which (he/she) does not believe to be true.”

What does this mean?

If you are under oath or in any official proceeding and intentionally and knowingly make a false statement, you are committing perjury.

For a conviction, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant gave testimony at an official proceeding (under oath / in an unsworn foreign declaration), 2) the defendant intentionally gave false testimony, and 3) the statement was material to the proceedings.

 

Tampering with a Witness

“Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-151, a person is guilty of tampering with a witness if, believing that an official proceeding is pending or about to be instituted, (he/she) induces or attempts to induce a witness to (testify falsely / withhold testimony / elude legal process summoning (him/her) to testify / absent (himself/herself) from any official proceeding).”

What does this mean?

If you persuade or attempt to persuade a witness in an official proceeding or investigation to either falsify or withhold their testimony, or to make them avoid testifying in the proceeding, you are tampering with a witness.

For a conviction, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant believed that subject was to be a witness before a judge, jury, etc., and 2) the defendant induced or attempted to induce the subject to testify falsely, withhold testimony, elude legal process summoning the subject to testify, or absent himself/herself from any official proceeding

 

Tampering with Evidence – Fabricating Evidence

“Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 53a-155, a person is guilty of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence if, believing that an official proceeding is pending, or about to be instituted, (he/she)

  • Under Subsection 53a-155 (a) (1):  (alters / destroys / conceals / removes) any (record / document / thing) with purpose to impair its verity or availability in such proceeding.
  • Under Subsection 53a-155 (a) (2):  (makes / presents / uses) any (record / document / thing) knowing it to be false and with purpose to mislead a public servant who is or may be engaged in such official proceeding.”

What does this mean?

If you alter, destroy, conceal, or remove any physical piece of evidence in an upcoming or current proceeding/investigation in order to purposely compromise it’s value in the investigation, you are tampering with evidence. If you knowingly present or make any false physical piece of evidence in an official proceeding/investigation in order to mislead an investigator or other civil servant in this proceeding or investigation, you are fabricating evidence.  

For a conviction, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant believed that an official proceeding was pending or about to be instituted, 2) the defendant (tampered with / fabricated) physical evidence, and 3) the defendant specifically did the exact act that the state claims was wrongful. For example, the defendant altered a report to mislead or hide the truth of what occurred.

 

These charges are felony offenses that carry serious consequences if not properly defended. If you’ve been charged with a perjury or tampering offense, be sure to secure an attorney that has handled many such cases. Hartford criminal defense attorney Salvatore Bonanno has the experience necessary to defend you for both perjury and tampering charges.

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