When Law Enforcement Plants Evidence in a Crime Scene
In the spring of 2016, a former Kenosha police officer pleaded guilty to felony charges stemming from planting evidence the year prior, according to Fox6Now. He had planted a bullet and ID card in the backpack of a murder suspect in 2014. The officer, who resigned in 2015, was charged with failing to perform known duty and misconduct in office. Fortunately, in this scenario, the officer was caught and his actions did not send an innocent person to prison, which is not always the case.
False evidence is anything that has been created or forged for the purpose of incriminating a suspect. However, the use of fabricated evidence goes both ways. False evidence can also be used to help “prove” a defendant’s innocence. False evidence may be created by the police, an attorney, or anyone else that wishes for a decision to be made in their favor.
Obstruction of Justice
Planting evidence or falsifying evidence is a crime in Illinois. According to statute 720 ILCS 5/31-4, a person commits obstruction of justice when they act with the “intent to prevent the apprehension or obstruct the prosecution or defense of any person” by destroying, altering, concealing, disguising evidence, planting false evidence or furnishing false information. Obstruction of justice is a class 4 felony in Illinois, which is punishable by one to three years in prison. While originally sentenced to one year in prison, the former police officer’s sentence for obstruction of justice was replaced with one year of probation and 80 hours of community service.
Illegally Gathered Evidence is Admissible
An attorney can have evidence thrown out if it was collected illegally, or in violation of the Fourth Amendment. In most cases, evidence that is gathered illegally and cannot be used stemmed from an illegal search of a person’s home or their person. For example, if your home was subject to an illegal search and the police did not have a warrant, any drugs that they found cannot be used as evidence if your attorney files a motion to suppress that evidence.
Call a Naperville, Illinois Criminal Defense Attorney Today
Proving that evidence or drugs were planted can be incredibly difficult. Finding evidence of false evidence is rare, but is possible, and has become more and more common throughout the war on drugs. The court will generally believe a law enforcement agent’s word over that of the defendant’s. However, if you believe that evidence has been planted or tampered with, or that evidence has been forged, it is important to act quickly with your attorney. Call the experienced Naperville criminal defense attorneys of Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today for assistance.