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Can these tampering with evidence charges be dropped?

U S A F Academy, CO |

I was under investigation for fraternizing with a commissioned officer because a third party completely falsified official statements to deceive investigators and make it seem as if we had a unprofessional relationship. She had absolutely no evidence of this allegation when she made the statements, but had heard rumors around the squadron. The investigators then used this and only this statement to obtain a search warrant to search and seize my phone. My phone subsequently did not have anything on it and they therefore charged me with tampering with evidence. Can that charge be thrown out if that individual admits that she fabricated the evidence?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You are with the AF Academy and facing very serious charges that could impact your career. You need to consult with an local attorney either on base or in Colorado Springs. Yes, the charges can be thrown out "possibly". However,you stand a much better chance with the representation of an attorney.

The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you are interested in his legal services, feel free to call Chris at (303) 409-7635 at his law office in the Denver Tech Center. All initial consultations are free of charge.

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Asker

Posted

Will the Area Defense Counsel on base be sufficient or should I hire an attorney?

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Posted

Try the Area Defense Counsel first.

Asker

Posted

Alright thank you. If you don't mind me asking, what do you mean "possibly?"

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Posted

As a former judge and a former prosecutor, I can tell you that judges and prosecutors are given a HUGE amount of discretion. So, a lot will spend on the judge and prosecutor in your case. I tended to be more concerned about people's rights, substance, and "justice" whereas other judges are more obsessed with form. If you look at our Supreme Court, Scalia and Thomas will not throw out anything and are very conservative in comparison to other justices like Souter and Ginsberg. So, whether you can get the judge to throw it out depends on their philosophy and the prosecutor's philosophy as well. It changes from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and judge to judge.

Posted

It is possible that the charges can be dismissed, but it is not certain. It may be necessary to take the case to trial in order to resolve them. Even when a complaining witness recants, the prosecution can sometimes proceed and attempt to convince a jury to believe the witnesses prior statements rather than her recantation. This makes for a much harder case for the prosecution to win, but in some cases it is possible. It is important for you to have a good attorney to defend you.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.

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Posted

You first want to review the affidavit of the search warrant to determine if there were sufficient facts supporting the warrant. Second, unless a witness has evidence from you on their phone/computer supporting the initial investigation and corresponding evidence that you knowingly deleted the information off of your phone after being placed on notice of the investigation, it appears that the government cannot prove a prima facie case of tampering. However, I represented many servicemembers as a JAG in the Marine Corps, and echo the previous responses, that you need to retain a lawyer familiar with military law and follow their advice.

The information presented here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The Goodman Law Group, P.C. recommends that you consult an attorney with experience in your specific legal issue. Please contact us to schedule a confidential discussion of your situation. Such communication does not create an attorney-client relationship of any kind until a formal engagement agreement is signed by both you and the Goodman Law Group, P.C.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you all for your responses so far. I am retaining a lawyer today and actually got a good referral from one of my friends here who was going under an investigation himself and was almost disenrolled. But an answer to your question, no, there were not sufficient or truthful facts on the warrant. I can honestly say (no reason to lie or hide anything on here) that what the "witness" made in here official statement was a complete lie and she had absolutely no knowledge of the "crime." Everything is backwards here though and all I can believe at this time is that the investigators fabricated this statement themselves and had this witness attach her name to it. Since she out processed the day before this investigation took off, that is the only reasonable explanation. They were trying to use her as a witness since she was leaving and would not have to later corroborate the statements.

Asker

Posted

And if that was the case, be watching for this case in the news because I WILL open an IG investigation.

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