What crime has an alleged victim committed by submitting fake edited pictures as discovery evidence of injuries?

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    Who do they submit them to, for what purpose? – user6726 Jul 29 '20 at 4:49
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    The victim can't submit any evidence to the court, not unless they're the prosecutor in a private prosecution, which I don't think Florida allows. The victim would have to provide the pictures to the prosecutor, who would then provide them to the defence as part of the pre-trial discovery process. Later at trial, the prosecutor would then introduce them as evidence. – Ross Ridge Jul 29 '20 at 5:07
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    Yes, "discovery evidence" isn't a thing. "Discovery" is the exchange of evidence between the parties, and it generally happens without the court's involvement; "evidence" is the testimony, documents, objects, etc. presented to the court to inform its decisionmaking. – bdb484 Jul 29 '20 at 6:46
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    You've tagged this "criminal law". Is the case a criminal one or a civil one? More background please. – Paul Johnson Jul 29 '20 at 9:45
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    What do you mean by "public record?" Where did the pictures come from, and how did they become part of the "public record?" – DavidSupportsMonica Jul 29 '20 at 19:33

Typically, this kind of action would not be handled as a criminal offense. There are other contexts that are more likely to come up.

The civil and criminal cases aren't the same.

In a criminal case, the prosecution has a duty to provide evidence that it has to the defense upon request, but the defense has no parallel obligation due to protections against self-incrimination.

In a civil case, both sides have expansive obligations to provide disclosures and response to request to produce evidence.

In a criminal case:

  • The Court could sanction the party for doing so in a variety of ways authorized by court rule.

  • This would be an ethical violation of the attorney if the attorney knew that the evidence was false at the time, or failed to disclose this fact after discovering it sometime before the proceeding was concluded. This could also be a "Brady violation" which occurs when the prosecution knows that misleading information was provided without disclosing the full facts if the full facts would be exonerating. This would not be the case if the prosecuting attorneys didn't know that the evidence was misleadingly edited.

  • The Court in rare circumstances might hold someone in contempt of court (criminally or civilly) for doing so, but this would be quite unusual. Usually this would be done when a "victim" of the crime or a law enforcement officer or some other third party deceived both the prosecuting attorney and the court, and if that person knew that the edited evidence would be used in a court proceeding.

  • The Court within fairly strict time limits after a judgment is entered based upon the false evidence could set aside the judgment in a collateral attack on the judgment reached with the misleading evidence, and order a new trial or a modification of the judgment in some respect.

  • Usually a civil lawsuit against the prosecutors or the government for money damages would not be allowed. If a police officer or private party deceived the prosecution and the court, a civil lawsuit for money damages might be permitted.

  • In some states, it might be possible to prosecute this conduct as obstruction of justice or some similar criminal offense, and might bring a perjury prosecution based upon testimony under oath asserting that the evidence was authentic while knowing it was not. But, this would be extremely uncommon.

Generally, for there to be any punishment, the editing would have to be undisclosed and the edits would have to be material to the outcome of the case or to plea negotiation outcomes.

In a civil case, the analysis would be similar, but the timing of the collateral attack would be different and there would be no "Brady violation".

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