Obstruction of Justice – Penal Code Section 148(a) Learn Your Best Strategy
Obstruction of justice really has to do with interfering with law enforcement in the performance of their duties. I see a lot of these cases where people are either attempting to destroy evidence when they see law enforcement, or when the police are attempting to investigate a crime and someone is not being cooperative with them and not listening to them, typically that person will be arrested – hopefully not beaten. Obstruction of justice is covered under California Penal Code Section 148(a).
But sometimes they're beaten too and then they're charged with obstruction of justice, battery on a police officer and a whole host of other charges. So, if you're trying to figure out how to deal with an obstruction of justice charge, obviously you're going to have to have some sort of rationale or reasoning why you were having an issue with law enforcement and whatever it is they were claiming you were doing, why you believe it was lawful and your criminal defense attorney is going to have to have the local connections in order to either negotiate your case or try it in front of a jury if that is feasible under the circumstances.
Types of Obstruction of Justice
The types of crimes that qualify as obstruction of justice relate to lying to a police officer during an investigation, giving them false or misleading evidence, attempting to destroy evidence is another way that you can have an obstruction of justice case charged against you, dissuading a witness or preventing them from testifying.
In fact, anything that when the law enforcement officers, in the performance of their duties – if you get in their way or you try to stop them or you don't cooperate with them and it can be proved that they are in the official performance of their duties, then you can be charged and even convicted of obstruction of justice.
What Constitutes Official Performance of Their Duties?
This is where a lot of cases can be argued and won because a lot of times police are doing stuff that is not in the official performance of their duties.
They're being rude and nasty – they're being bullies – and people stand up to them and then they get taken out and charged with obstruction of justice.
So, if it can be shown by any type of evidence, be it witnesses, video evidence or anything that the police are outside of the performance of their duties and not doing what they're supposed to, then it can be argued that they used unreasonable force and did not have the right to command somebody to do something that they are now claiming is obstruction of justice.
A lot of times I see this in domestic violence cases where they come out to the scene, everybody's yelling and screening emotional, and they start telling people to do things, be quiet, sit down. They separate everybody in order to interview them and then somebody doesn't cooperate.
Somebody's mad, somebody's yelling, somebody's drunk, and then that's when the person's going to get arrest and is going to get charged with obstruction of justice and a host of other crimes if they're the person that was involved in the domestic battery, they'll be charged with that too.
The problem with this is that the prosecutors do not like it when you do anything having to do with law enforcement because usually in Los Angeles when it comes to obstruction of justice charges, law enforcement and the prosecutors are friends, so the prosecutors are careful about not doing anything that law enforcement perceives as against them or unreasonable.
Experienced Criminal Lawyer
This is where a great criminal defense attorney has to come in and say to the prosecutor, wait a minute, you're not going to get dragged down into this mud. These guys operated improperly, and they should therefore, not be able to do what they've done, and you shouldn't be able to charge my client with this crime and if you do and you persist in it, we're going to take it in front of a jury, we're going to embarrass these police officers and we're going to get the case dismissed.
Obviously, you're not going to take that position if they've got a solid obstruction of justice case against you. That's when you sit down with an attorney like me who's been doing it for twenty-five years.
We lay everything out on the table, you tell the truth about what happened, we assess the witnesses you have, and we really determine whether or not an obstruction of justice case is warranted or not.
It if is warranted, then we're going to get all of the good things about you, character letters -we're going to show some of the reasoning behind why you did what you did and we're going to try to get something other than an obstruction of justice charge some other charge, maybe some sort of diversionary program and see what we can do about getting you out of the criminal justice system as fast as humanly possible, keeping your record clean and keeping you out of custody. So, make the call, take the step now.
If you're charged with obstruction of justice or any other crime in L.A. county – give me a call and we're going to figure out exactly what it's going to take to get you the result you must have.
Obstruction of Justice Attorney
Committing the crime of obstruction of justice is a very serious criminal offense. It is the crime of interfering with the administration and due process of the law. It includes the interference of any investigation or a criminal proceeding.
In order to be charged, law enforcement must believe or have strong evidence that you influenced or attempted to influence a proceeding or an investigation in some manner. A conviction for obstruction of justice can result in jail term of up to ten years, depending upon the obstruction committed.
It can also result in heavy fines, community service, probation and a misdemeanor or felony charge on your criminal record. A few examples of offenses that may be considered an obstruction of justice include the following:
- Lying to law enforcement during questioning
- Giving a false statement
- Falsifying, hiding or destroying evidence
- Falsifying, hiding or destroying documents
- Paying someone else to give false evidence or testimony
- Attempting to influence a jury or witness before or during trial
- Assaulting or threatening a person for operating in a police investigation
At the Hedding Law Firm, we recommend that you meet with a professional and experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. Failure to do so will be damaging to your case. An obstruction of justice charge can be tried in state or federal court, depending on the proceeding that was interfered with.
Our lawyers are well qualified and educated in both state and federal legal systems. We will personally review your case and provide you with a strong defense.
Superior Criminal Defense Representation in California
Your future is at stake. Do not hesitate another minute to protect your rights and your freedom. Call our law firm today for your free case consultation. We will meet with you face to face and determine what action should be taken in your defense. It is our goal to provide you with exceptional legal advice for your obstruction of justice case.
Accused of obstruction of justice in Los Angeles, California? Contact an attorney at our firm today!