Colorado Crimes – Obstruction of Justice -18-8-102
Colorado Crimes -Obstruction of Justice -18-8-102– Committing the crime of obstruction of justice is a very serious criminal offense. Obstruction of justice is defined by any action that prevents or hinders the proper judicial process, the administration of the courts, law enforcement or correctional actions. This could be something as simple as a non-violent resist of arrest, or as severe as lying while acting as a witness. This also includes actions such as bribing or threatening a witness, judge, lawyer or law enforcement officer.
Here is a reprint of – Colorado Crimes – Obstruction of Justice -18-8-102
18-8-102. Obstructing government operations.
(1) A person commits obstructing government operations if he intentionally obstructs, impairs, or hinders the performance of a governmental function by a public servant, by using or threatening to use violence, force, or physical interference or obstacle.
(2) It shall be an affirmative defense that:
(a) The obstruction, impairment, or hindrance was of unlawful action by a public servant; or
(b) The obstruction, impairment, or hindrance was of the making of an arrest; or
(c) The obstruction, impairment, or hindrance of a governmental function was by lawful activities in connection with a labor dispute with the government.
(3) Obstructing government operations is a class 3 misdemeanor.
18-8-104. Obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical services provider, rescue specialist, or volunteer.
(1) (a) A person commits obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical services provider, rescue specialist, or volunteer when, by using or threatening to use violence, force, physical interference, or an obstacle, such person knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the enforcement of the penal law or the preservation of the peace by a peace officer, acting under color of his or her official authority; knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the prevention, control, or abatement of fire by a firefighter, acting under color of his or her official authority; knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the administration of medical treatment or emergency assistance by an emergency medical service provider or rescue specialist, acting under color of his or her official authority; or knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders the administration of emergency care or emergency assistance by a volunteer, acting in good faith to render such care or assistance without compensation at the place of an emergency or accident.
(b) To assure that animals used in law enforcement or fire prevention activities are protected from harm, a person commits obstructing a peace officer or firefighter when, by using or threatening to use violence, force, physical interference, or an obstacle, he or she knowingly obstructs, impairs, or hinders any such animal.
(2) It is no defense to a prosecution under this section that the peace officer was acting in an illegal manner, if he was acting under color of his official authority as defined in section 18-8-103 (2).
(4) Obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, emergency medical service provider, rescue specialist, or volunteer is a class 2 misdemeanor.
(5) For purposes of this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) “Emergency medical service provider” means a member of a public or private emergency medical service agency, whether that person is a volunteer or receives compensation for services rendered as such emergency medical service provider.
(b) “Rescue specialist” means a member of a public or private rescue agency, whether that person is a volunteer or receives compensation for services rendered as such rescue specialist.
While mere verbal opposition alone may not suffice to merit a conclusion of interference or obstruction, a combination of statements and acts, viewed in the totality of the circumstances, can form the crime of obstruction. Dempsey v. People, 117 P.3d 800 (Colo. 2005).
Self-defense is an available defense against a charge under this section when a defendant reasonably believes that unreasonable or excessive force is being used by a peace officer. People v. Barrus, __ P.3d __ (Colo. App. 2009).
A Defendant may not respond to an unreasonable search or seizure by a threat of violence against the officer and then rely on the exclusionary rule to suppress evidence pertaining to the criminal act of obstructing a peace officer and resisting arrest. People v. Brown, 217 P.3d 1252 (Colo. 2009).
Other actions which can bring about the charge of obstruction of justice charge include:
• Interference of an investigation
• Picketing and using a megaphone in front of the courts without a permit
• Falsifying, hiding or destroying evidence and lying while participating in an investigation
• Lying to law enforcement during questioning
• Giving a false statement
• Resisting Arrest
• Falsifying, hiding or destroying documents
• Paying someone else to give false evidence or testimony
• Attempting to influence a jury or witness before or during trial
• Assaulting or threatening a person for operating in a police investigation
• Obstructing court orders
In fact, any action that interferes or hinders the daily operations of any of the three branches of government can bring about an obstruction of justice charge.
In order to be charged, law enforcement must believe or have strong evidence that you influenced or attempted to influence a proceeding or an investigation in some manner.
After a person has been charged with a crime such as obstruction of justice, it is important that they are informed of their legal rights and options.
The best way people can become informed throughout the legal process is by retaining the services of a knowledgeable Denver, Colorado criminal defense attorney who can continually protect the client’s best interests. By working closely with the right attorney, people may be able to avoid conviction for obstruction of justice and not have to deal with the life-altering consequences that are associated with most obstruction of justice convictions.
Colorado Crimes – Obstruction of Justice -18-8-102
Retaining A Denver, Colorado Obstruction of Justice Defense Attorney – H. Michael Steinberg
At The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense H. Michael Steinberg has represented many clients who were facing obstruction of justice charges and penalties. With our help, our past clients have been able to fight their obstruction of justice charges and obtain successful outcomes in court. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers are aggressive, professional litigators who are ready to help you.
If you have been charged with obstruction of justice, and you would like to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney, call a Denver, Colorado obstruction of justice attorney for a free case consultation on Colorado Crimes – Obstruction of Justice -18-8-102.