Hire a Federal Obstruction of Justice Lawyer
If you committed a crime and then destroyed evidence or gave false information to the police, there’s a good chance you are facing obstruction of justice charges. Many acts can lead to obstruction of justice charges while talking to a police officer, during a crime, at a police station, or in a courtroom.
If you are facing obstruction of justice charges, don’t fight them alone. If you are found guilty of the crime, it can lead to a longer sentence and increased fines. So, what should you do?
The first step is to talk with an obstruction of justice lawyer.
The crime of obstruction of justice is an umbrella for a long list of specific acts that might be obstruction, depending on the circumstances. At the Zoukis Consulting Group, we have various tools to fight these charges, such as motions to dismiss or defend you in a jury trial.
The path you choose depends on the specifics of your case, which is why it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. We’ll walk you through each course of action, the potential outcome and are by your side every step of the way.
Call the Zoukis Consulting Group today for your initial consultation.
Defining the Crime
Federal statute 18 U.S.C. § 1503 defines “obstruction of justice” as an act that “corruptly or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication, influences, obstructs, or impedes, or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede, the due administration of justice.”
Obstruction of justice is a broad crime, which means police officers and prosecutors have more discretion when arresting you and charging you with the crime.
Examples and Elements of Obstruction of Justice
Obstruction of justice includes almost any act that impedes the progress of a federal investigation or criminal proceeding.
The United States code names more than twenty kinds of obstruction, including:
- Influencing or injuring an officer or juror generally (18 U.S.C. § 1503)
- Obstruction of criminal investigations (18 U.S.C. § 1510)
- Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant (18 U.S.C. § 1512)
- Retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant (18 U.S.C. § 1513)
- Destruction of corporate audit records (18 U.S.C. § 1520)
For example, you may face obstruction of justice charges if you commit perjury. In addition, the charges cover bribing, threatening, trying to influence a juror, an officer of the court, a witness, a judge, an investigator, or anyone else involved in a legal proceeding. It’s a pretty broad net.
Even if you are charged with obstruction, the prosecutor still has to prove the elements beyond a reasonable doubt before you are found guilty. It isn’t enough for you to lie, bribe, or tamper with evidence, but each element of the crime must be proven.
The following are the elements of obstruction of justice, which the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt for a guilty conviction:
- The deliberate intention of interfering with a legal proceeding.
- You must have known about the proceeding ahead of time.
- You must have specific knowledge of a connection between the proceeding and the attempt to obstruct it.
Punishments for Obstruction of Justice
Say you are charged with obstruction of justice; what type of punishment are you facing? There are a couple of options depending on the jurisdiction you are charged in and the type of obstruction of justice with which you are charged.
For example, if you are charged with federal obstruction of justice because of altering or destroying a document, you can face up to 20 years in prison.
Another example is you can face up to five years in prison if you are charged with interfering with a witness during a federal criminal investigation.
At this point in your reading, you’re probably feeling a little anxious, but this is a good time to remember an obstruction of justice lawyer is on your side. You can call and talk to us. Get help finding some answers and have a plan in place before you head to court.
An Obstruction of Justice Lawyer Can Help
The federal crime of obstruction of justice is broad and complicated. Furthermore, the punishments range from five to 20 years, depending on your specific case.
Our team of professional lawyers at the Zoukis Consulting Group has years of experience defending obstruction of justice crimes. Let us help you navigate the legal system so you can rest easy at night.
Call us now for an initial consultation.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on May 11, 2023 at 6:08 pm