Common Defenses For An Obstruction Of Justice Charge

Posted on: 24 June 2015

Obstruction of justice is a criminal offense you may be charged with if you lie to law enforcement officers or if you attempt to destroy evidence or prevent a criminal investigation from proceeding forward. You may even be charged if you were not asked to provide such evidence to law enforcement. Therefore, the simple act of throwing away papers tied to a criminal investigation could lead to you being charged with a crime. If this is the case, you will need to demonstrate that you did not intentionally obstruct justice or that you did not obstruct justice at all.

Improbable Cause

If there is not sufficient evidence for probable cause, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to file motions to have obstruction of justice charges dismissed altogether. Sometimes, the obstruction of justice charge is simply used as a way to arrest someone who has not actually committed a crime to hold the individual. So the best way to proceed is to have the charges dropped so you do not have to deal with the court system.

Unknowingly Obstructing Justice

If your lawyer is not able to have the charges dropped, he or she might be able to have the more serious felony obstruction of justice dropped to a misdemeanor obstruction of justice. To be charged with a felony, you will need to have knowingly interfered with an investigation. Therefore, a lawyer can have these charges dropped by simply proving that there was no way you could have knowingly obstructed justice. For example, you may have been ignorant that a crime was committed when you disposed of something you didn't realize was evidence.

Accidentally Interfering With An Investigation

When you are charged with a misdemeanor, this means that you did not cooperate with the officer or prevented the officer from doing his job. For instance, if you park your car in a location where you prevent police officers from entering a property, you may be able to explain how your parking decision had a logical explanation and did not intend to prevent officers from doing their jobs.

Telling Falsehoods Without Knowing It

If you tell something that is false to an officer, the prosecutor will need to prove that you knew the information you provided was false. Your defense lawyer, like those at Scott L. Kramer Law Office, may be able to prove that there was a logical reason for why you believed the falsehood was true. But since you are not familiar with navigating these shark-infested waters, it is unlikely you'll be able to effectively make your case without the assistance of a criminal defense lawyer.