The criminal offense known as “obstructing the administration of law,” or more commonly referred to as “obstruction of justice” or “obstruction,” is one of several offenses that may be charged when a person interferes with police in New Jersey. If you are seeking an obstruction of justice lawyer, defense attorneys at my firm are ready to help you.
Providing Experienced Representation
I am Anthony N. Palumbo, experienced New Jersey obstruction of justice lawyer and managing partner at The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo. I have more than 35 years of legal experience working on both sides of the courtroom. My time as a prosecutor and defense attorney has helped me obtain thousands of dismissals and downgraded charges for my clients. If you have been charged with an obstruction offense, contact my New Jersey law firm to learn how I can help you during a free initial consultation.
New Jersey Obstructing Law
The entire text of the law for Obstructing the Administration of Law can be found in the New Jersey Criminal Code under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1.
“A person commits an offense if he purposely obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from lawfully performing an official function by means of flight, intimidation, force, violence, or physical interference or obstacle, or by means of any independently unlawful act. This section does not apply to failure to perform a legal duty other than an official duty, or any other means of avoiding compliance with law without affirmative interference with governmental functions.”
The Many Forms of Obstruction of Justice Charges
I have handled numerous obstruction of justice and police interference charges for my clients. Interference with the police is a common term that encompasses several different offenses, including:
- Resisting arrest
- Eluding arrest
- Hindering apprehension or prosecution
- Giving a false name
- Impersonating an officer
Understanding the Law
There are several important points about the law above that should be noted.
- Affirmative action: In order for a person to be guilty of obstruction, that person must commit an affirmative act with the intent to obstruct the government. If an affirmative act cannot be proved, a conviction cannot be rightfully obtained. An experienced attorney may choose to defend your case on grounds that you did not commit an affirmative act, and thereby cannot be convicted of obstruction.
- Words: Words alone are not enough to constitute obstruction. For example, in State v. Camillo, 382 N.J. Super. 113 (App. Div. 2005), the New Jersey court held that a failure to provide full personal information is not enough for a charge. However, when words are combined with physical threats, that is enough for a charge.
Penalties if Convicted of Obstruction of Justice
Generally, obstruction is a disorderly persons offense. However, an offense may be upgraded to a fourth-degree crime if the actor obstructs the detection or investigation of a crime or the prosecution of a person for a crime.
- Disorderly persons offense: Up to six months in prison
- Fourth-degree crime: Up to 18 months in prison
Contact Me, a Union County Police Interference Attorney
If you’ve been charged with obstruction or any other crime involving interference with the police, contact me, Anthony N. Palumbo, for a free initial consultation. I will aggressively defend your rights and make sure you receive the best possible outcome given the circumstances of your case. Let my 35 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney fight for you.