The charge of obstruction of justice occurs when “any person by threats of bodily harm or force knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede. . . any law enforcement officer, lawfully engaged in the discharge of his duty.” It is usually Class 1 misdemeanor but it can be increased to Class 5 felony if an attempt to intimidate or impede a police officer is made by threats of bodily harm or force.
In order to convict you of misdemeanor Obstruction of justice, the Commonwealth must prove:
- Your actions clearly indicated the intent to prevent the officer from performing his duties which implies opposition or resistance by some direct acts. Failure to fully cooperate or merely making the officer’s task more difficult does not constitute obstruction. For example, hiding or running away cannot be charged under this section.
- Knowledge that the person you were resisting was an officer who was engaging in performance of his “public duties”
You have a right to refuse an unlawful arrest or an arrest made with an unlawful amount of force.
Contact the knowledgeable and experienced Virginia criminal defense attorney to evaluate the facts of your case and to determine if your charges properly fall under this section and what defenses can be successfully used.
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