In a case involving marijuana possession, the Appellate Division reviewed what actions amount to the crime of tampering of physical evidence.
On May 9, 2013, in the City of Newburgh, the defendant was stopped as it was suspected that he was violating the City’s open-container law. After the officer identified himself, the defendant fled. While chasing the defendant, the officer noticed the defendant discard a plastic bag which, it was later determined, contained marijuana. The defendant was apprehended, arrested, and charged with a number of offenses, including tampering with physical evidence. Prior to trial, the defendant filed an omnibus motion to suppress the physical evidence. The motion was denied.
At trial the defendant testified that he did not discard any marijuana and that nothing was found on him when he was searched. Nonetheless, the jury convicted him of several charges including unlawful possession of marijuana and tampering with physical evidence.