COVID-19 UPDATE: Virtual and Phone Consultations Available in All Cases - We Offer Payment Plans - Learn More

Avvo Rating
Expertise
OCBA
State Bar of California
Featured in huffpost Live
Super Lawyers
Best Attorney

Destroying or Concealing Evidence (PC 135) in Aliso Viejo

Under California Penal Code 135, if you knowingly and willfully destroy or conceal any evidence that is about to be produced in an investigation, inquiry or trial, with the intent of preventing it from being used, you are guilty of destroying or concealing evidence. A few examples of legal proceedings include a criminal trial, a civil trial, a police investigation of illegal activity, or a parole board hearing. Therefore, you can commit an obstruction of justice crime even if the evidence is not relevant to a criminal court proceeding, and instead, relevant to, for example, a divorce case. You have to know that whatever you are dealing with is going to be used evidence. For example, if you throw away payments records a few years prior to a current investigation, you will not be charged because of your unawareness of the relevance of that evidence in regard to the current investigation. In addition, you have to have destroyed or concealed the evidence willfully, meaning that you had the full intentions of doing it. For example, if you accidentally ruin evidence by spilling some sort of drink on it by accident, that would not be considered destroying or concealing evidence. Also, the type of evidence is not limited. This includes digital images or video recordings, clothes, drugs or drugs paraphernalia, the weapon used to commit the crime, and not just any type of documents.

In the city of Aliso Viejo, destroying and concealing evidence is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 6 months in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. This crime is considered one of moral turpitude, and is prosecuted strictly by the Orange County District Attorney.

Defenses for PC 135

If you are charged under PC 135, some of the defense strategies that a criminal defense attorney can use as part of your defense strategy include:

  • There was no active prosecution or investigation, at the time when you destroyed the evidence
  • You didn’t know that the material that was destroyed was evidence in a criminal prosecution or investigation
  • You were asked to destroy material that happened to be evidence without being given a reason for the destruction
  • You did not intentionally destroy or conceal the evidence. The evidence may have been accidentally destroyed or fell into a hidden crevice
  • You did not actually conceal or destroy the material in question

On another note, under Penal code 132 PC, it is a crime to present fake, forged, or incorrectly dated written evidence in any kind of legal proceeding.

If you or someone you care about is charged with destroying or concealing evidence, the best action to take is to immediately find and call a proficient and experienced attorney who is familiar with the Courts in Orange County. Calling an attorney immediately will allow the facts of the case to be immediately assessed and the best defense prepared and used to defend you.

At the Johnson Criminal Law Group we have an experienced attorney ready to help you with your criminal defense. Call today.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Lauren Johnson was amazing. She explained everything in ways that were easily understood, & answered all of my question. She was respectful, but also open & honest. She started work on my case the first day we met & got results quickly. She demonstrated passion, concern, and showed true feeling for my situation. My expectations were greatly exceeded. I would say she has an incredible attention for detail, & has a real dedication to her work. Lauren Johnson would be my first recommendation to any of my family or friends similarly in need of legal assistance. - Heather
★★★★★
I researched a lot of attorneys and had met with two attorneys before speaking with Ms. Johnson and retaining her. I was facing serious charges that could not be on my record, due to my job and was really scared. I felt hopeless & thought my life was ruined...until I found Ms. Johnson... - A criminal defense client (drug case)
★★★★★
She is on point. She knows her field well. I have to give credit where credit is due, you deserve it Lauren Johnson... - Anonymous, Victim of Domestic Violence
★★★★★
Lauren K. Johnson was my saving grace. I naively thought you were innocent until proven guilty. However, I soon discovered that CPS and family court does not see things that way... - Mrs. G, a CPS client
★★★★★
Thank you Lauren for your help and support in a very scary, bad time in my life! You were a ray of sunshine in a very dark place. I didn't have to step foot in a court room once, Lauren was there for me... - JB A criminal client