Obstruction of Justice
Obstruction of justice is a broad term describing any interference with the law. The offense includes a variety of conduct, including:
- Resisting arrest, punishment
- Committing violence on officer
- Giving false testimony to officer
- Hindering law enforcement activity
- Interfering with police investigation
- Attempting to influence witness or juror
- Falsifying, hiding, or destroying evidence
- Crimes by judges, prosecutors, elected officials
The obstruction must involve the administration or “lawful discharge” of an official duty by:
- Prison guards
- Police officers
- Parole supervisors
- Correctional officers
- Conservation rangers
- Judges, witnesses, jurors or
- Government, regulatory agents
As a former District Attorney, Atlanta criminal defense attorney David Schnipper uses his experience and knowledge of prosecution tactics to mount an effective defense. He has successfully defended individuals charged with obstruction of justice and other crimes. David Schnipper is dedicated to providing superior representation to clients across Georgia.
Defense Attorney David Schnipper Will Aggressively Defend You Against Obstruction Charges
Resisting arrest or punishment describes a wide range of activity. Running or hiding from police officers in pursuit may not involve violence, but can be charged as obstruction. Skipping town and missing an appointment with an assigned parole or probation officer may also count.
Committing violence on the person of an officer does not always involve violence. What one interprets to be “slight” resistance may be seen as violent by the officer. Merely touching or angering a law enforcement officer can be construed as a threat and punished as obstruction.
Giving false testimony as a witness in a criminal proceeding is also called perjury. Witnesses subpoenaed to give testimony under oath have the right to remain silent. Those who provide alibis to protect a suspect or hide their own involvement in a crime may also be prosecuted.
Hindering law enforcement activity refers to any interference with the work of police, investigators, child services, and regulatory agents. The person obstructing the administration of official duties is generally not the suspect, but a witness or interested party in the crime. Even if the suspect is innocent, providing a false alibi for personal gain may constitute obstruction.
Interfering with investigation includes any attempt to fabricate facts, deter questioning, or otherwise hinder the investigation of a crime. The right to remain silent allows a person to refuse to answer questions by investigating officers, but not to intentionally lie.
Witness tampering involves any attempt to influence a juror or witness in a criminal prosecution or court proceeding. This may be accomplished through bribes, threats, and even violence. Attempting to influence anyone aiding in a police investigation is also a crime.
Tampering with evidence refers to hiding, falsifying, or destroying helpful or incriminating evidence. It also includes planting evidence on another person. A person who alters legal documents, business records, or physical evidence may be charged with obstruction.
Obstruction by officials like judges, prosecutors, and attorneys general violates codes of professional conduct. Such conduct may involve the acceptance of bribes, perjury, cover-ups, leaks to press, removing financial records, giving false testimony, hiding exculpatory evidence, and otherwise abusing prosecutorial discretion.
David Schnipper Fights Allegations of Obstruction
Having worked for the prosecution in two District Attorney’s offices, Georgia criminal defense lawyer David Schnipper knows how seriously this crime is punished. Penalties include fines, imprisonment, probation, and a stained criminal record. If you have been charged with obstruction, it is critical that you retain experienced legal counsel. David Schnipper has prevailed against numerous misdemeanor and felony charges, saving the lives and reputations of clients throughout Georgia. As a seasoned litigator, David Schnipper knows how to undercut the prosecution’s evidence and fiercely protect your rights. Rather than leaving your future to an unskilled lawyer, let David Schnipper put his extensive knowledge to use to build your defense. Call (404) 983-6051 for a free consultation or contact us online.