Obstruction of Justice
Obstruction of justice has become well-known to the public due to recent questions involving members of the executive branch. Ultimately, anyone who is the subject of an obstruction investigation would be wise to listen to talented legal counsel when it comes to potential charges.
What is Obstruction of Justice?
Both a federal and state offense, obstruction of justice refers to any effort to influence or hamper the administration of justice. One key factor on which such a charge rests is intent. Was justice undermined due to simple bungles and buffoonery or was there a practiced effort to undermine just procedures and practices?
The charge of obstruction is relatively common. In fact, obstruction can occur in any number of ways, including:
- Resisting a law enforcement officer;
- Possessing a handcuff key illegally;
- Interfering with an officer’s communication or protection;
- Assistance in a jail or prison escape attempt;
- Tampering with a monitoring device;
- Offering or accepting a bribe;
- Intimidating witnesses;
- Lying to law enforcement personnel;
- Evidence tampering.
Florida is no stranger to obstruction cases:
- In October 2017 two individuals were indicted on charges of obstruction in relation to securities fraud. These individuals face possible sentences of 20 years each for the obstruction charge, in addition to the penalties for the other charges. The indictment alleges there was an intricate cover-up scheme in place to throw investigators off the trail in relation to the other charges.
- In November 2017, a Boynton Beach sergeant was found guilty of obstruction of justice after a jury found he had falsified records and lied to the FBI. As a supervisor, the sergeant had allowed officers to alter their written reports and add fictional details in order to justify use of force during a high profile case. He then told the FBI that the reports on record were the original, un-doctored reports. Because the computers in the police department tracked changes to reports, the lie was easily discovered, and the intent was clear.
Penalties for Obstruction of Justice
The consequences for obstruction of justice depend on the degree of the felony charge. Imprisonment may be as much as 30 years for each count, with associated fines in the thousands of dollars.
A Strong Defense
The United States Constitution allows for the legal defense of anyone accused of a crime. Deric Zacca, Esq. has the experience and skills to defend an obstruction of justice charge or any other federal or state offense. Contact him today in Fort Lauderdale today for a free initial consultation. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty, and he will do everything in his power to achieve a positive outcome for you.