If you’ve been accused of a crime, investigators may have searched your house for evidence. They may be trying to gather as much as they can to determine if you’re actually guilty or not. They already feel that they have some evidence if they’ve made the arrest, but they need to make sure they have an ironclad case.
As they work through this process, they may accuse you of the spoliation of evidence, which means taking action to ensure that they can’t get the evidence they’re searching for. This most often means hiding that evidence, lying about its existence or even destroying it entirely. This type of accusation is something you need to take very seriously, as it could compound the other charges.
An example of how this could happen
For example, say that you have been accused of being involved in a conspiracy to embezzle money from your employer. Investigators claim that you and another individual worked together through email messages in order to make your plans to defraud the company.
When they check your email account, however, you recently cleaned it up and deleted all of your emails. You didn’t think anything of it, just wanting to make things a little less cluttered and easier to find. But you could be accused of spoliation of evidence if the authorities believe you deleted those emails intentionally to hide evidence for the case. They may then have to seek other ways to get the information, such as talking to your email provider.
If you have an accused of this crime or you’re facing other types of serious criminal charges, always be sure you know about your legal defense options.