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Tampering with Evidence

Tampering with evidence is an offence under section 317 of the Crimes Act 1900, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You suppressed, concealed, destroyed, altered or falsified information knowing it is or may be required as evidence in a judicial proceeding, or you fabricated false evidence (other than by perjury), or you knowingly made use of false evidence, and
  2. You intended by doing so to mislead any judicial tribunal in judicial proceedings.

A ‘judicial proceeding’ is any proceeding in or before a judicial tribunal in which evidence may be taken on oath.

A ‘judicial tribunal’ is any person, including a coroner or arbitrator, or any court or other body authorised by law or by the consent of parties, which may conduct a hearing to determine any matter or thing.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Duress,
  2. Self-defence, including the defence of another.

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