Spoliation of Evidence Law and Legal Definition

Spoliation of evidence refers to intentional or negligent withholding, hiding, alteration or destruction of evidence relevant to a legal proceeding. Accordingly, it is inferred that a person who destroys such evidence does it with consciousness of guilt. Thus the principle carries along the following consequences:

1. the act is criminal by statute, and may result in fines and incarceration for the parties who engaged in the spoliation; and

2. case law has established that proceedings which might have been altered by the spoliation may be interpreted under a spoliation inference.