With the recent testimony of former FBI Director Comey, many people are questioning Obstruction of Justice. What is it? What must occur for Obstruction of Justice to exist? If Obstruction occurs, then what are the consequences? We aim to answer some of these questions. The following is a nutshell explanation of Obstruction charges in Okmulgee County with some examples from our criminal defense lawyers.
What is Obstruction of Justice?
Under 18 U.S.C. § 1505, states:
“…. Whoever corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation is being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress—Shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism,[…], imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.”
So basically, if anyone tries to influence an investigation by any government committee or agency that is conducting an investigation, it is obstruction of justice. Justice must to take the due course without interference from any party.
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What counts as “Obstructing” Justice?
Obstruction charges in Okmulgee County can take many forms. Some examples include:
- Threatening jurors or witnesses
- Bribery of officials overseeing the investigation
- Suppressing crucial evidence
- Using power over investigators to influence the investigators actions and/or findings
There must also be the intent to obstruct or change the course of the investigation. However, it does not have to be the primary intention. As long as the obstruction is more than an incidental occurrence, it is considered “intended” and therefore, criminal.
What are the Consequences of Obstruction?
As 18 U.S.C. § 1505 states above, the penalties under federal law are a maximum five (5) years imprisonment and fines. However, this is a basic penalty. Under certain circumstances the penalties will increase. For instance, if the obstruction is part of a larger crime, such as treason or terrorism, prison sentences and fines are much more stringent. If the person obstructing justice holds public office, there is a chance of their removal from office.
Okmulgee Criminal Lawyers
If you’re in the middle of criminal charges you need serious legal help. Our attorneys help clients with all crimes including Obstruction charges in Okmulgee County. Get in front of this kind of case before its to late. Get a free consultation.