The court system in California uses evidence to determine the facts surrounding criminal accusations. The important role evidence plays in the justice system means that false evidence can lead to improper resolutions to criminal cases.
Individuals who utilize false evidence can be prosecuted under California Penal Code Section 132 & 134: Offering Or Preparing False Evidence. The Simmrin Law Group can help you learn more about these serious criminal charges.
Go Over the Definition of Offering or Preparing False Evidence
California Penal Code Section 132
Individuals can be charged under PC 132 if they present false written evidence in a legal proceeding. For the purposes of this law, legal proceedings can include:
- Criminal Trials
- Civil Trials
- Traffic Court Hearings
Note that PC 132 only applies if an individual presents written evidence. All of the following documents are examples of written evidence:
- Papers or Documents
- Other Instruments in Writing
Individuals may offer false written evidence in a number of ways. Individuals can be prosecuted if they present false written evidence in court, or if the false evidence makes its way to court in any other way.
California Penal Code Section 134
PC 134 covers a wider range of criminal actions than PC 132. Individuals can be prosecuted under PC 134 simply for preparing false evidence. Individuals can be charged for preparing any kind of evidence, including evidence that does not involve written material.
Individuals can be charged with preparing false evidence if they create completely false evidence, or misrepresent evidence in an untruthful way. Something as simple as changing the date on a photo or document can be considered preparing false evidence.
Penalties for Offering or Preparing False Evidence
The court system in California treats both offering and preparing false evidence as felonies. Individuals who are convicted under either PC 132 or PC 134 may be sent to prison for up to 3 years. Individuals may also be subjected to fines.
Note that there are many other criminal charges in California that resemble PC 132 and PC 134. Depending on the situation, individuals could be charged under:
- California Penal Code 118: Perjury
- California Penal Code 135: Destroying or Concealing Evidence
- California Penal Code 141: Planting Evidence
- California Penal Code 470: Forgery
Additionally, some individuals attempt to offer or prepare false evidence to beat a different criminal charge, such as embezzlement or mortgage fraud. A conviction for these charges can lead to serious penalties.
Examples of Offering or Preparing False Evidence
Individuals can offer or prepare false evidence by:
Man A gets a ticket for speeding and argues that he was operating his vehicle at the posted speed. He submits of photograph of the speed limit sign after adjusting it in his computer. The prosecutor proves that the actual speed limit sign is different. Man A could be convicted under PC 132.
Man B robs a woman at an ATM. The ATM takes a picture of him, showing his long beard. He shaves his beard off when he gets home, takes a picture, and dates it to make it appear that he shaved his beard a few days ago. He could be convicted under PC 134 if he intends to use this photo in court.
Defenses for Offering or Preparing False Evidence
There are a number of legal defenses that can be used to beat charges of offering or preparing false evidence. Individuals facing a PC 132 or 134 charge can contact a professional Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer to get help proving:
They Did Not Know the Evidence Was False
Generally, an individual must know they are offering or preparing false evidence to be convicted under PC 132 or 134. Individuals who thought their evidence was legitimate should not be convicted in the court system in California.
They Did Not Intend to Offer or Prepare False Evidence
Individuals must intentionally offer or prepare false evidence to face a conviction in California. If evidence is presented by accident – due to the stress surrounding criminal charges or for any other reason – you may not be convicted.
They Were the Victim of Entrapment
Sometimes, law enforcement officers and prosecutors will push individuals to offer or prepare false evidence. This is often the case in situations with more than one defendant. One defendant may feel forced to come up with evidence against another defendant by the prosecution’s aggressive demands.
Get Help from a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
California Penal Code Section 132 & 134: Offering Or Preparing False Evidence can be a difficult charge to beat on your own. Make sure you have solid defense by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. You can reach our criminal defense lawyers by calling (310) 896-2723 or filling out our online contact form right now.
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