Obstruction of Justice as a Criminal Charge - Explained
What is Obstruction of Justice?
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What is the Crime of Obstruction of Justice?
Obstruction of justice is an intentional act carried out with the intent to obstruct the legislative or judicial process. This charge seeks to protect legislative, judicial, and administrative proceedings.
Next Article: Aiding and Abetting or Conspiracy to a Crime Back to: CRIMINAL LAW
How do you feel about charging a friend or family member of an accused individual for harboring (hiding) that individual to prevent her arrest? What if a friend or family member withholds or fails to give to authorities any information that implicates a family member in a crime? What if a friend or family member specifically lies when questioned by authorities to prevent an arrest?
- Some might feel hesitant to charge a family member with obstruction of justice for not turning them into the law. The same goes for not supplying information to officials that would facilitate their search for or investigation into the suspect. The opinions may change, however, when family members affirmatively lie or make up information to thwart an investigation.
Barry witnesses a masked individual pull a pistol on two unsuspecting tourists and demand their valuables. He then watches the perpetrator run away down the street. At the end of the street, the perpetrator throws his weapon in the trashcan and continues to flee. Barry walks to the end of the street and removes the robber's weapon from the trashcan. He likes the gun and decides to keep it for himself. When the police arrive on the scene, they question everyone in the area, including Barry. Barry refuses to answer the police questions and does not mention the weapon he found. Has Barry committed a crime?
- Yes. Barry has likely obstructed justice by removing evidence and failing to answer police questions. Obstruction of justice is defined by federal statute as any interference with the orderly administration of law and justice. The crime can take any number of forms, whether it is bribery, tampering with evidence, lying to investigators, abusing ones power, or some other act intended to impede a criminal investigation. Other ways an individual may commit this offense include, but not limited to, the following acts:
- Influencing or injuring an officer or juror generally
- Obstruction of criminal investigations
- Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant
- Retaliating against a witness, victim or an informant
- Destruction of corporate records.
- Criminal Law (Intro)
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- Classifications of crimes Misdemeanor vs Felony Criminal Charges?
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- What are the exceptions to reading Miranda Rights?
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- Investigation - Subpoena
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- What are the 4th Amendment protections against Search and Seizure?
- What are the 5th Amendment criminal law protections?
- What are the 6th Amendment criminal law protections?
- What are the 8th Amendment criminal law protections?
- Crimes Against the Property of Others
- Activity Constituting Fraud
- Good Faith as a Defense to Fraud
- Common Types of Business Fraud
- False Statement as a Criminal Charge
- Conspiracy as a Criminal Charge
- Obstruction of Justice as a Criminal Charge
- Aiding and Abetting or Conspiracy to a Crime