Obstructing the Administration of Justice

Pennsauken NJ Obstructing Lawyer

Obstructing is a criminal offense that is much more prevalent than you might think in Camden County. Police officers in Gloucester City, Camden, Cherry Hill, and other venues in the county issue complaints for obstructing the administration of justice and law all the time. The most common scenario for an obstruction charge is providing the police with a false name or identification. When something like this happens, you can expect a disorderly persons offense or a fourth-degree obstructing offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1 to be filed. For anyone accused of hindering police in making an arrest or investigating an alleged crime, a conviction will result in numerous negative consequences. If you do not succeed in defending this charge, you will be subject to a fine that can easily exceed $1,000, be incarcerated for as much as 18 months, and will have a criminal record. Our Cherry Hill Firm routinely represents individuals accused of obstruction in towns like Merchantville, Collingswood, and Voorhees, and can probably do so with success for you. One of our attorneys or former prosecutors is available now at 856-662-8300 for a free consultation.

Waterford Township Obstruction Of Law Charges

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1, a person commits an offense if he purposely obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from lawfully performing an official function by means of flight, intimidation, force, violence, or physical interference or obstacle, or by means of any independently unlawful act. Independently unlawful act refers to any affirmative violation of a legal duty whether imposed by a criminal statute, tort law or even an administrative regulation. “Independently unlawful” means it must be illegal without regard to the purpose to obstruct justice. For example, impersonating a candidate in a civil service examination would be an independently unlawful act within the meaning of the statute. Although this offense is derived from the Model Penal Code, the language of New Jersey’s obstruction of justice charge is greatly more expansive. The Model Penal Code offense only encompassed obstructing, impairing or perverting the administration of law or other government function, but New Jersey also has criminalized preventing or attempting to prevent a public servant from lawfully performing an official function. The obvious public policy behind this expansiveness is to criminalize and supplement other areas of the law that hinder the proper function of government such as bribery, official misconduct, and bribery. To sustain a prosecution of this offense, the state must prove that the person acted purposefully. Even if the state is prosecuting a defendant for preventing a public servant from performing an official function, it must prove that the defendant acted purposefully. This is the highest burden of proof that the State can be required to show, so at least from the perspective of the scienter requirement, the statute is somewhat forgiving to defendants who act knowingly, recklessly, or negligently as they cannot be convicted for their actions within the language of the statute.

Penalties You Will Face At Sentencing If Convicted Of Obstructing in Berlin NJ

In terms of the grading of this offense, a charge under this statute is typically a disorderly persons offense. It is also possible, however, for this charge to be elevated to a fourth-degree offense. It is a fourth-degree offense where the actor obstructs the detection or investigation of a crime or the prosecution of a person for a crime. In any event, both of these grades can lead to serious penalties. A disorderly persons offense typically carries with it a fine of up to $1000. A fourth-degree offense is even more severe with the possibility of a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 18 months.

Haddonfield Obstructing The Administration of Law Attorneys

We realize from experience that you are probably confused and shocked that you are facing this criminal offense. What you need to know is that our attorneys are able to avoid a conviction to obstructing the administration of law in most cases. So if you were arrested in Pennsauken, Gloucester Township, Winslow or another town for obstruction, call our Cherry Hill Firm for help. We can definitely assist you in protecting your future. A lawyer is available now at 856-662-8300 for assistance.