Attorney for Obstruction of Justice In Virginia

Attorney for Obstruction of Justice In Virginia

The offense of obstruction as defined in §18.2-460 of the Virginia Code is written broadly and is very much dependent on a case by case analysis of the facts; every obstruction charge is different.

What is Obstruction?

A. If any person without just cause knowingly obstructs a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, or animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 in the performance of his duties as such or fails or refuses without just cause to cease such obstruction when requested to do so by such judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, law-enforcement officer, or animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, any person who, by threats or force, knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, or an animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 lawfully engaged in his duties as such, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. If any person by threats of bodily harm or force knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, lawfully engaged in the discharge of his duty, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court relating to a violation of or conspiracy to violate § 18.2-248 or subdivision (a)(3), (b) or (c) of § 18.2-248.1, or § 18.2-46.2or § 18.2-46.3, or relating to the violation of or conspiracy to violate any violent felony offense listed in subsection C of § 17.1-805, he is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

D. Any person who knowingly and willfully makes any materially false statement or representation to a law-enforcement officer or an animal control officer employed pursuant to § 3.2-6555 who is in the course of conducting an investigation of a crime by another is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

E. Any person who intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a law-enforcement officer from lawfully arresting him, with or without a warrant, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. For purposes of this subsection, intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent a lawful arrest means fleeing from a law-enforcement officer when (i) the officer applies physical force to the person, or (ii) the officer communicates to the person that he is under arrest and (a) the officer has the legal authority and the immediate physical ability to place the person under arrest, and (b) a reasonable person who receives such communication knows or should know that he is not free to leave.

But What Does That Mean?

Simply put, obstruction means that you prevented a law enforcement officer from completing his or her job during an investigation or arrest.

Sentencing and Punishment

Obstruction can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the underlying reason for the officer’s investigation.

If you are charged with misdemeanor obstruction, it is a  Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2500.

If you are charged with felony obstruction , it is a Class 5 felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2500.

What to do if you are Charged with Obstruction

Being charged with obstruction is a very serious matter. It is important to secure legal representation as soon as possible to protect defendants through the criminal process, open avenues for rehabilitation and keep imprisonment sentences as low as possible. If you, a family member, or a friend were charged with obstruction, contact Naum Estevez, PLLC’s assault lawyers for a free case consultation.