DeKalb County Obstruction

DeKalb County Obstruction Attorney

Obstruction of a law enforcement officer can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case. If the case is prosecuted as a misdemeanor in DeKalb County, the Solicitor’s Office will prosecute the case, whereby if it is a felony charge, it will be sent to the District Attorney’s Office. The biggest difference between a misdemeanor obstruction case and the felony obstruction case is the maximum punishment if convicted.

DeKalb Misdemeanor Obstruction

Misdemeanor obstruction is when one knowingly and willingly obstructs or hinders a law enforcement officer in the discharge of his or her lawful duties. This includes police officers, but also probation officers,  jailers, or game wardens.

There are a few ways one can “obstruct” an officer under Georgia law. First, you can prevent an officer from discharging their official duties by running away, arguing, lying, or doing something that makes it more difficult or completely prevents them from doing their job. This would be classified as misdemeanor obstruction in Georgia and is punishable by up to twelve months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. You don’t have to make any physical contact with the officer to be charged with misdemeanor obstruction. Felony obstruction, on the other hand, typically does involve physical contact with an officer, or a threat of violence.

DeKalb Felony Obstruction

Felony Obstruction is more serious under Georgia law.  If you make violent contact with an officer in the process of he or she discharging their legal duties, or you threaten violence on an officer, you may be charged with felony obstruction of justice. Felony obstruction, both in DeKalb and across the State, carries a mandatory one-to-five year sentence for a first offense. It is a mandatory 2 to 10 years on a second offense, and 3 to 15 years on a third.

Both felony and misdemeanor Obstruction cases are taken seriously in the DeKalb County justice system and throughout the State. There are, however, defenses. For example, it is not against the law to obstruct a police officer during an unlawful arrest. Obstruction of justice is a fact-based inquiry under Georgia law. If you have been charged with obstruction, call us today at 404-581-0999 so we can get you into the office for a free consultation.