Obstruction of Law Enforcement and legal officers in discharge of their official duties is generally a misdemeanor under Georgia law. It is governed by code section 16-10-24 and makes it a crime to obstruct any law enforcement officer, prison guard, jailer, correctional officer, community supervision officer, department of juvenile justice officer, probation officer or game warden.
There are a few types of ways one can “obstruct” an officer under Georgia law. First, you can prevent an officer from discharging their official duties by running, 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.
A second type of obstruction is considered more serious. If you make violent contact with an officer in the process of discharging their legal duties or you threaten violence on an officer, you may be charged with felony obstruction of justice which carries a one-to-five year sentence for a first offense. If you’ve already been convicted of obstruction in the past, the sentence may be enhanced based on past convictions.
There is one final type of obstruction under Georgia law that involves throwing or expelling bodily fluids or other substances from within the human body at an officer. This version of obstruction carries with it the same one-to-five-year sentence, but also a minimum fine of $300.
Obstruction of justice is a fact-based offense under Georgia law. Whether you may be found guilty is going to depend on the specific set of facts and circumstances in your case. 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.