Obstruction of Justice
There are a variety of actions or behaviors that can cause an officer to make an arrest for obstruction. The basic legal definition is a threat, an act of force, or an act of corrupt means that impedes or prevents the administration of justice. This crime can take place out on the street, in the police station, or even inside of a courtroom. It is a misdemeanor under state law, but the maximum punishment of 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine is relatively high. There are many ways to defend these types of cases including filing motions to dismiss or even requesting a jury trial. Motions to dismiss may be filed if an officer was not acting within his lawful duty or if an officer provokes the defendant in some way. Trial is also an alternative in these types of cases because jurors are often sympathetic to the public, and understand that police can abuse their power. We are committed to exploring every possible option in your case regardless of how difficult the fight may be.
The definition of obstruction of justice under Maryland law is quite general, and this frequently leads to a person being unlawfully charged. A cop cannot simply charge someone with this crime for not listening or speaking with him or her. In many situations you are not legally required to give information to a police officer, and you are rarely required to assist them in any manner. Cops do not own the public, and they are not our bosses, but there are many situations where an officer may take uncooperative behavior personally. The result is too many times an arrest or a citation that should have been avoided. Obstruction is also commonly used as an add charge to trump up an arrest, and make a defendant look worse in front of a judge. Do not let police get away with this! Contact Benjamin Herbst to set up an in person or phone consultation to discuss the best ways to handle your defense.