How to Beat Obstruction of Justice Charges
When someone intends to obstruct or jeopardize the course of justice, that is called obstruction of justice. Under laws in most of the countries of the world, the obstruction of justice is a criminal offence. It is considered to be one of the most serious violations of law and order in a country.
Moreover, this heinous crime is punishable by years of imprisonment and a considerable amount of fine. So, whenever you are charged with obstruction of justice, you must present a strong case in your defence. So, here in this writing, we will let you know how to beat obstruction of justice charges.
However, before defending, it is essential to understand the obstruction of justice charges clearly. Let’s move.
Brief Understanding of Obstruction of Justice
Under the Canadian Criminal Code section 139 (1), anyone who intentionally obstructs, prevent or defeat the course of justice, can be charged with obstruction of justice case. If you try to secure someone despite their legal actions, you are committing obstruction of justice. Moreover, taking money in return for securing an accused is also an obstruction of justice.
Furthermore, just by the act of hindering a course of justice, can charge you with obstruction of justice cases. Using corrupt meanings such as threats or bribery to either hide or destroy evidence or to influence the jury’s decision is a form of obstruction of justice.
The act of defeating a course of justice is a criminal offence. This means that if a person only creates a risk between the road to justice in a judicial matter, he/she will be charged with obstruction of justice. For instance, if you attempt to create or hamper an investigation or provide misleading information that instigates an injustice, that is an obstruction of justice.
You cannot depend on saying things like you hampered the process mistakenly or on poor judgment to fight the obstruction of justice charge brought against you. To beat an obstruction of justice charge, you need to present a defence in your support with legitimate evidence and purpose. The best way to do that is to hire a criminal defence attorney.
Examples of Obstruction of Justice Charges
The most common form of obstruction of justice is bribery. Bribing a government official or police officer to take certain actions that create a barrier between justice, is an obstruction. This also hampers the judicial system of the court.
When a person influences a jury, judge or police officer by hurting or injuring them, that person can be charged with obstruction of justice. Moreover, the influence can come in the form of a threat to life by talking with the victim to the jury.
Another form of obstruction of justice is tampering with evidence. Destroying, hiding or fabricating information is a serious crime and falls under these charges.
Besides, there can be two types of obstruction of justice:
Federal obstruction of justice charges
If someone interferes with the order of law and justice, that is a federal obstruction of justice. For instance, if you attack a police officer or a juror before a court hearing, the court can charge you with federal obstruction. These acts focus more on the intent of the criminal activities.
State obstruction of justice charges
This type of obstruction of justice usually means the regular act of hindering the job of a law enforcer. This also varies from state to state. For example, when a person takes away a police officer’s firearm, that person can be charged with state obstruction of justice. These acts focus more on the activities than the intent.
Penalties for Obstruction of Justice Charges
Just like other kinds of charges, obstruction of justice charge will potentially send you to jail or enforce fine if proven. Being a criminal offense, the penalties are quite serious.
If the charges brought on you are proven, the crown may proceed in terms of the indictment. This means that the prosecution is more serious, and the judge might decide on a minimum of 2 years of imprisonment. The jail-time may increase up to 10 years, depending on the severity of the crime.
If the crown proceeds in terms of summarily, then the punishment can be anything except imprisonment. You may be asked to pay a certain amount of fine that can range from 10,000 USD to 50,000 USD or sometimes even more than that. Moreover, punishments may include community services or counselling.
In addition to all these, there are other collateral consequences of the case. Being a criminal felony, there will always be a criminal record against your name. As a result, you may miss out on a few constitutional rights, such as the right to vote or to carry a registered weapon. The record behind your name might haunt you permanently for the rest of your life.
How to Beat the Obstruction of Justice Charges
The lack of intent
Almost all obstruction charges are made based on the accused intentionally committing the crime. However, if the accused had little or no intent in creating any barrier between justice, that charges should not be convicted.
The problem is that the jury cannot look into your mind and see your conscience. So, you will have to prove with proper evidence and information to show your lack of intent.
The monetary amount in the case
Many charges are only applicable when there is a certain amount of money involved. For instance, obstruction of a federal audit requires contracts to be more than 100,000 USD for it to apply as an obstruction charge. Proving that the amount is less than the threshold, can help you beat the charges.
Lack of evidence
While this may seem inapplicable here, sometimes, the prosecutor may not be able to prove your guilt in the court. Due to a lack of evidence from the prosecutor’s side, you can provide more evidence on your innocence. The judge will be accountable for letting go of your charges. So, trying to out-prove the opponent with more evidence on your side can help you defend against the case.
Criminal defence attorney
Finally, the best option to beat this kind of charges brought against you is to hire an attorney who is experienced and highly skilled. A criminal defence attorney will not only handle your case but also help you win the situation. Worst case scenario, attorneys can help in mitigating the amount of punishment decided against you.
Obstructing the decision of justice is one of the hideous crimes. This hampers law and order of the justice system and remarks you as a criminal felony in the eyes of the society. However, if such charges are brought against you on a false note, you can always follow the procedures mentioned above to defend yourself against it. The truth will always come out, and if you are innocent, you will be able to beat obstruction of justice charges.
FAQ for How to beat obstruction of Justice
Is obstruction of justice a criminal case?
Obstruction of justice is an offence against the legal system. Hence, it is considered a criminal offence. In many states, e.g. Arizona, obstruction of justice is legally referred to as a felony which is a severe crime.
What is the most common form of obstruction of justice?
One of the most common forms of obstruction of justice is tampering with evidence of a crime scene. Another common form of obstruction of justice is harming or threatening a witness or prospective eyewitness.
What does it mean to be charged with obstruction?
Being charged with obstruction of justice means that you are already in great danger. However, you can hire a lawyer to defend your innocence if you are mistakenly or falsely accused.
What is the sentence for obstruction of justice?
In Arizona, the usual punishment for committing obstruction of justice is a prison time of six months to two years and/or a fine of $150,000. The punishment gets severe based on the intensity and impact of the crime.