Obstruction of justice is anything you do to prevent the legal system from doing its job; federal law includes 21 separate offenses under the category of obstruction of justice.
Think back to the panic that went through your mind on report card day as you rode the school bus home with a report card full of grades that your parents would not be happy with. Think of the last-minute strategies and excuses you considered during that bus ride. You thought about opening the bus window and hoping that the wind would carry your report card away. You thought about flushing your report card and telling your parents that the dog ate it, or even better, flushing the part that showed your grades and crumpling up the other part and leaving it in the dog’s food dish. You considered drawing an extra leg on an F to make it look like an A or adding one more bump to a D to make it look like a B. If you did any of these things with evidence of a crime instead of with a report card, it would constitute obstruction of justice. The Austinobstruction of justice attorneys at Granger and Mueller can help you if you are being accused of obstruction of justice.
Actions That Constitute Obstruction of Justice
Criminal procedure is a complex process, especially in federal cases, and attempts by defendants or their accomplices to interfere in any aspect of the process count as obstruction of justice. You could be charged with obstruction of justice if prosecutors believe that you have done any of the following things:
- Harassment of witnesses, whether in the form of verbal or written threats or physical attacks
- Physical assault of a police officer, process server, or law enforcement officer
- Attempting to destroy evidence
- Bribery of jurors or witnesses
- Disobeying a court order
- Lying to the police to provide a false alibi for yourself or for a family member or friend
- Publicly making false claims about a judge or law enforcement officer
- Disrupting a trial
The penalties for obstruction of justice vary according to the destructiveness of the actions the defendant took to obstruct the legal process. For example, if you disrupt a trial by protesting out loud in the courtroom, your sentence will probably just be a monetary fine, although the court has the option to impose a sentence of up to one year. By contrast, attempting to kill a witness in order to prevent the witness from testifying carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison; in this case, obstruction of justice amounts to attempted murder.
If you are accused of obstruction of justice or any other crime, you have the right to representation by a criminal defense lawyer.
A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You Fight Charges of Obstruction of Justice
A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you have been accused of obstruction of justice. Contact Granger and Mueller in Austin, Texas, or call (512)474-9999.