The Charge of Criminal Tampering with Government Records
Government records are official records, which is why tampering with them is a consequential crime that can lead to serious jail time and harsh fines. While you may think criminal tampering charges could never pertain to you, they are actually far more common than you probably realize, which is why it is so important to have a clear understanding of what such charges commonly entail.
What Constitutes Criminal Tampering?
In the State of Texas, criminal tampering can come in a variety of forms – some of which may surprise you. These include:
Intentionally altering a government record falsely (or making a false entry in such a record)
Falsely making, presenting, or using any government document or record with the intention of passing it off as legitimate
Possessing, offering, or selling a government document or record (blank or otherwise) with the express intent of unlawful usage
Intentionally concealing, removing, or destroying the legibility, veracity, or availability of any government document or record
Intentionally using, presenting, or creating a false government record or document
Knowingly possessing, offering, or selling a government document or record (blank or otherwise) that is known to have been acquired illegally
Over time, such tampering charges have become more severe due to their tangential association with terrorism.
Examples of Criminal Tampering
To shine a brighter light on the subject of criminal tampering, consider the following examples:
Creating or altering a jury form
Creating, buying, possessing, or selling a fake car insurance document or card
Creating, buying, possessing, or selling a fake identification document or card, including a fake Texas driver’s license or identification card
The State of Texas takes any such infraction very seriously.
Criminal Tampering Charges and Penalties
Charges related to criminal tampering with government records can vary from Class B misdemeanors all the way to second-degree felonies. The seriousness of the charge you face directly relates to all of the following factors:
The type of government documents or records involved in the alleged offense
If the alleged offense involved the intent to defraud or harm another
If the government record in question was criminally tampered with in order to produce, use, present, or sell said record
There is a spectrum of charges when it comes to criminal tampering, but the kind of documents most closely associated with it include insurance documents, records of education (such as college degrees), and various types of permits and licenses.
Seek the Professional Counsel of an Experienced Killeen Criminal Lawyer
Charges related to criminal tampering are both more severe and more common than you may realize. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard is a dedicated criminal lawyer – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – who understands the serious nature of these charges and who is committed to preparing your most robust defense in support of your rights and a favorable case resolution. Your case matters, so please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.