Obstruction of Justice
Obstruction of justice is a felony offense that can have serious implications on your freedom, life, and livelihood. The crime encompasses an array of behavior, including providing false information to a police officer, concealing material relevant to a prosecution, or destroying or disguising physical information. As a felony offense, obstruction of justice can be charged in one of two ways: by information or indictment. An arrest can issue after a police officer swears and signs a complaint as to commission of the crime. In the alternative, the offense can be charged by a grand jury indictment, wherein a panel of 16 people decides whether there is probable cause to charge the crime of obstruction of justice.
If you have been charged with obstruction of justice, you are likely experiencing an array of emotions, from fear, anger, and confusion as to your legal rights. It is important to recognize that just because you have been charged with this serious crime, it does not mean all hope is lost. With the help of an experienced obstruction of justice defense attorney, you can successfully defend against these charges or obtain a favorable plea deal without jail time.Offering Experienced, Skilled, and Passionate Defense Against Obstruction of Justice Charges
The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg have decades of experience representing defendants against the charge of obstruction of justice, along with numerous other serious crimes. Our attorney team extensively investigates each case and, armed with this knowledge, mounts a fervent defense. The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg has successfully obtained acquittals for several clients charged with obstruction of justice, dismissal of charges, as well as favorable plea deals without jail time.The Crime of Obstruction of Justice Under Illinois Law
The crime of obstructing justice in Illinois is set out in 720 ILCS 5/31-4. Under this statute, a person commits obstruction of justice when he or she, with the intent to prevent the apprehension of another person or obstruct the prosecution or defense of another person, knowingly commits one of the following acts:
- Furnishes false information, destroys, conceals, alters, or disguises physical evidence or plants false evidence;
- Induces a witness with knowledgeable material to the prosecution, defense, or location of another, to conceal himself or leave the state; or
- Leaving the state or concealing oneself when you have knowledgeable material on the subject at issue; or
- If a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker of a child under the age of 13 reports materially false information to a law enforcement officer, state’s attorney, medical examiner, coroner, or other governmental agency during the investigation of the disappearance or death of a child
The crime of obstructing justice encompasses a wide array of behaviors, some of which you would not immediately think of as a crime. For instance, obstructing justice includes telling a witness to a crime not to come to court and testify. In a domestic violence situation, the victim and the defendant almost always had a romantic or familial relationship. If the defendant were to ask the victim not to come to court to testify against him or her, this could be grounds for an obstruction of justice charge.
Another example of obstruction of justice would be providing a police officer with a false name. Sometimes, when an individual with a suspended license or an outstanding warrant is pulled over, they provide the officer with false information out of fear of going to jail. This constitutes obstruction because it is furnishing of false information that hinders the investigation of a crime.
It should be noted that the crime of obstruction goes both ways. If a witness knowingly conceals evidence that could allow a defendant to prove his or her innocent, that is also obstruction.Obstruction of Justice is a Felony
Obstruction of justice is a Class 4 felony offense, punishable by one to three years in prison (the Department of Corrections) and a fine of up to $25,000. However, the judge does have the option to sentence you to probation as opposed to incarceration.
There is a special enhancement if the obstruction of justice occurred in furtherance of a gang. If a gang member commits obstruction of justice to protect another gang member, it will be a Class 3 felony, punishable by two to five years in prison and $25,000 in possible fines.
As a felony offense, an obstruction of justice conviction is not expugnable. Those convicted of this charge can face possible career repercussions, as a felony offense will appear on criminal records commonly searched by employers. It is important not to overlook the seriousness of this charge. An obstruction of justice conviction can have far-reaching consequences, but with the help of an experienced defense attorney, you may be able to avoid conviction.Quick Action is Necessary to Defend Against Obstruction of Justice Charges
Those charged with obstruction of justice should secure the representation of an experienced resisting arrest defense attorney as soon as possible after the arrest or filing of the complaint against you. The sooner you obtain a skilled criminal defense attorney, the more effective investigations will be and the stronger the defense you can mount. Your defense attorney will immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the charge, including interviewing witnesses and subpoenaing vital evidence. Armed with knowledge of the events of leading to your charges, your attorney can advise you as to the best course of action. He or she may move to have the felony charges dismissed, fight them at trial, or skillfully negotiate a strong plea deal. The important thing is to act quickly so that your best defense can be crafted.The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg: Providing Zealous Defense against Obstruction of Justice Charges
Chicago criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg has over 20 years experience representing clients who have been charged with obstruction of justice and other obstruction charges. Our criminal defense attorneys have an unmatched understanding of the laws concerning the crime of obstruction of justice and the possible defenses. The seasoned defense attorneys at The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg will investigate every pertinent fact to your case, often uncovering vital exculpatory evidence. We will mount a zealous defense with the intent of achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. The nature of the defense will vary depending upon your specific case, but we will often move to have the charges dropped based on lack of evidence. We diligently defend against both misdemeanor and felony convictions and always fight first to ensure you will not have to serve time in jail.
Facing any criminal charge can be frightening, but with the skilled representation of attorney David L. Freidberg, you can rest assured that your case will be defended to the fullest extent. David L. Freidberg has successfully defended thousands of clients and will aggressively fight for your freedom. Call or text us today at (312) 560-7100 or toll free at 1 (800) 803-1442 to schedule your free consultation today.