Fighting Obstruction Charges
We are all warned from the time we are children that we need to listen to the police. However, there are times when an individual doesn’t listen or they may engage in an action that is perceived as obstruction of justice. You have probably seen some viral videos that show the consequences of resisting arrest or not complying with the demands of a peace officer.
Obstruction of justice charges are more than feeing an officer or attempting to escape arrest. Some of the other situations include:
- Witness tampering — Threatening a witness in a criminal trial in exchange for a testimony that is anything but the truth.
- Interfering with a dead body — Touching or moving a body, taking evidence from a body, or interfering in any other way that could contaminate evidence.
- Warning a suspect of a police investigation — If you warn another person that they are under investigation for fraud, you might be charged with obstruction. This could result in justice not being served and that can put public safety at risk.
- Falsely reporting a crime — Reporting a crime that did not exist ties up resources and costs money, making it a crime.
As for many criminal charges, the penalties vary based upon the type of charge. Resisting arrest has a penalty of up to 90 days in jail and a $700 fine, resisting arrest with force has a penalty of up to 1 year in jail and a $3,000 fine, obstruction of justice with the risk of bodily harm or death has a penalty of up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
A Strategic Defense
You can fight obstruction of justice charges. A strategic defense may result in dismissal (after showing obstruction did not actually occur) of the charges or reduction through a negotiated plea, which effectively reduces the consequences.