OFFERING FALSE EVIDENCE
Offering false evidence is somewhat similar to the destruction of evidence. This is because offering false evidence occurs when you knowingly present, offer, or turn over a forged or fraudulently altered document.
N.R.S. 199.210 states:
“A person, upon any trial, hearing, inquiry, investigation or other proceeding authorized by law, offers or procures to be offered in evidence, as genuine, any book, paper, document, record or other instrument in writing, knowing the same to have been forged or fraudulently altered, is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.”
What does all of that mean?
N.R.S. 199.210 is actually one of the more straightforward statutes in the Nevada Revised Statutes. Even though the language is somewhat vague, each part provides enough examples to show make the definition clear.
First, the statute defines when it is illegal to offer false evidence. Though it generally refers to proceedings in the context of court cases, anytime false evidence is offered in the context of a legal proceeding, N.R.S. 199.210 will apply.
Some examples include:
- Arbitration Hearings;
- Grand Jury Indictment Hearings;
- Police investigations during investigations; and
What does it mean to “offer” evidence?
Essentially, it means to “give to authorities.” This can be done in a variety of ways and does not actually require that you provide the evidence to the authorities. All that is required is that you either have “false evidence” and attempt to turn it over to the authorities, or that you attempt to “procure,” or obtain such “false evidence” in order to turn it over. In fact, even if you were to inform the authorities that you had evidence that turned out to be false, you may be charged with offering false evidence.
But what if I didn’t know that the evidence was false?
In this case, knowing is more than half the battle. It is absolutely necessary that you knew the evidence to be false in order for you to be convicted of offering false evidence. As N.R.S. 199.210 states, “offers as genuine,…knowing the same to have been forged or fraudulently altered…”
Okay, so what kinds of evidence can be “false”?
Essentially, any written thing, can be offered as “false evidence.” Some examples include:
- Logs; and
Please Note: This list is only an example. Remember, the statute is intentionally vague to ensure that the prosecutors can decide on a case-by-case basis if the evidence at issue falls into this definition.
What kind of penalties am I looking at if I’ve been charged with Offering False Evidence?
Offering False Evidence is a category D felony in Nevada and carries with it:
- Between 1 and 4 years in a Nevada State Prison; and
- The possibility of up to $5,000.00 in fines.
So what can I do to defend against a charge of Offering False Evidence?
The specific defenses that may apply to your case will depend greatly on the circumstances of your case. However, some of the most common defenses are:
- Lack of Knowledge: As noted above, this is a crime where you had to have the intent to offer false evidence. If you honestly believed the evidence to be accurate or true, then you were not knowingly offering false evidence, and the charges against you should be dropped or dismissed. Remember that in criminal proceedings, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt every element of the charge. In this case, that includes the knowledge that the evidence was falsified.
- No Falsification: This may seem obvious, but you cannot be found guilty of Offering False Evidence if the evidence was genuine. Again, the prosecutor must prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is not enough proof that the evidence was false, then the prosecutor has not sufficiently proven this element and the charges against you should be dropped or dismissed.
What should I do if I’ve been charged with Offering False Evidence?
As with any crime, if you’ve been charged with Offering False Evidence, then you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss the specific facts of your case and any possible defenses.