Tampering with a Government Record
Concealing, destroying, or falsifying a government record is a serious crime under Texas law and includes a wide array of activities such as creating a fake ID or altering school records. The penalties for tampering with a government record may range from a class A misdemeanor to a second-degree felony.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for tampering with a government record, it’s imperative you see experienced and skilled legal representation right away. Don’t waste any time in building your defense — Failure to do so could cost you thousands of dollars and your freedom.
Georgetown Tampering with Government Record Lawyer | Williamson County, TX
Tampering with a government record is a serious offense under Texas law. You may be burdened with serious legal consequences including heavy fines and imprisonment. Start planning your defense today by calling the attorneys at the Law Office of Price & Twine, PLLC.
Attorneys Michael Price and James Twine are passionate about criminal defense. They will use their knowledge and defense strategies to uncover the best legal route for you. Call 512-354-1880 to schedule a free consultation.
We accept clients across central Texas, including Round Rock, Cedar Park, Leander, Taylor, Killeen, Temple, and Harker Heights.
- What Constitutes Tampering with a Government Record in Texas?
- Definition of Governmental Record Under Texas Law
- Penalties for Tampering with a Government Record in TX
- Additional Resources
Under Texas Penal Code 37.10, a person commits the offense of tampering with a government record if he or she:
- Knowingly makes a false entry in, or false alteration of, a governmental record;
- Makes presents, or uses any record, document, or thing with knowledge of its falsity and with the intent that it be taken as a genuine governmental record;
- Intentionally destroys, conceals, removes, or otherwise impairs the verity, legibility, or availability of a governmental record;
- Possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with the intent that it be used unlawfully;
- Makes presents, or uses a governmental record with knowledge of its falsity; or
- Possesses, sells, or offers to sell a governmental record or a blank governmental record form with the knowledge that it was obtained unlawfully.
Government records can include a variety of important identifying documentation. Under Texas law (Penal Code 37.01), a governmental record is defined as:
- Anything belonging to, received by, or kept by the government for information, including a court record;
- Anything required by law to be kept by others for information of government;
- A license, certificate, permit, seal, title, letter of patent, or similar document issued by the government, by another state or by the United States;
- A standard proof of motor vehicle liability insurance form described by Texas Transportation Code 601.081; a certificate of an insurance company described by Texas Transportation Code 601.083; a document purporting to be such a form or certificate that is not issued by an insurer authorized to write motor vehicle liability insurance in this state, electronic submission in a form described by Texas Transportation Code 502,0469i); or evidence of financial responsibility described by Texas Transportation Code 601.053;
- An official ballot or another election record; or
- The written documentation on a mobile food unit is required to obtain under Texas Health and Safety Code 437.0074.
The penalties associated with tampering with a government record are serious and depend on the type of document. Generally, the crime is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine. Tampering with a government record required to enroll a child into a school district is a class C misdemeanor, which can result in up to a $500 fine.
The punishment may be enhanced to a third-degree felony if the alleged offender tampered with any type of government record listed below:
- Public school record, report or assessment instrument for a school district or open-enrollment charter school; or
- Written report of a medical, chemical, ballistic, toxicological or other expert examination for the purpose of determining the relevance of the evidence in a criminal action; or
- Written report of the inspection, maintenance record of an instrument, certification, apparatus, implement, machine or other device used during the court of an examination or test performed on physical evidence to determine the relevance of evidence to a criminal action; or
- Public school or charter school certificate, permit, seal title, letter of patent or any similar document issued by the government or state; or
- Search warrant issued by magistrate
A third-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If the alleged offender tampered with a school record, report, assessment instrument, certificate, permit, seal, title, letter of patent or similar document with the intent to defraud or harm another person, then they will be charged with a second-degree felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine.
Texas Statutes: Tampering with Government Record – Visit the official website for Texas statutes and laws to find more information about offenses made against public administration. You can view section 37.10 which constitutes the Tampering with Governmental Record offense.
ACFE: Fraud – Access the official website for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners to view information about fraud such as why do people commit fraud and categories of fraud.
Texas Tampering with a Government Record Attorney
If you have been accused of tampering with a government record, it is imperative that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. This type of offense carries heavy penalties, but you can fight back with the help of our experienced legal team at the Law Office of Price & Twine, PLLC.
With decades of experience, attorneys Michael Price and James Twine have successfully defended clients from a variety of fraud charges. They know the tactics and resources necessary to refute the accusations you face.
Call us today at 512-354-1880 for a free consultation.