In Virginia, What Is Considered Obstruction of Justice?

To have an effective criminal justice system, it's critical to receive accurate information from witnesses. Anyone who provides false information through a report or testimony to a police officer or a court of law may face criminal prosecution and the possibility of severe criminal penalties.

If you've been charged with perjury, giving a false report to a police officer, obstruction of justice or another related crime, you face serious charges. It's important to retain an experienced and dedicated criminal defense lawyer who will provide an assertive defense on your behalf.

At Manikas Law, LLC, we represent people throughout Fairfax County and Northern Virginia who've been charged with perjury, obstruction of justice, and related offenses. We understand that prosecutors take these cases seriously and are prepared to aggressively prosecute defendants accused of deception.

What Is Obstruction of Justice?

A person can be guilty of obstruction of justice when he interferes with a police officer who is legally performing his duties. There are a number of ways that a person can do this, and some are misdemeanor offenses while others are felonies. A person can be charged with obstruction of justice for the following:

  • Obstructing an officer. It's a crime for a person to obstruct a law officer, or to refuse to stop obstructing when ordered to do so. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Using threats or force. Attempting to impede a police officer through the use of intimidation, threats, or force is obstruction of justice. It's a Class 1 misdemeanor with the same penalties as listed above.
  • Threatening bodily harm. Threatening bodily harm or force to impede or intimidate a police officer is a Class 5 felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Making false representations. Making false representations to the police when they're investigating a crime is a Class 1 misdemeanor with the same penalties as the other two misdemeanor offenses.

Obstruction of justice can also be the charge if any of the above actions involve a judge, justice, magistrate, juror, witness, or animal control officer.

Working Aggressively and Pragmatically

Many criminal defense attorneys don't know how to balance the need to be aggressive and pragmatic. All too often, defense attorneys, because of a lack of experience, judgment, and poise, engage in aggressive tactics, but without direction or a proper strategy. As a result, they alienate the prosecutor, detectives, and witnesses.

Other attorneys are too passive and only look to achieve the quickest and easiest plea. When you're facing charges for perjury or obstruction of justice, the legal challenge is complex and demands the steady hand and judgment of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

We understand there are times to be aggressive and times to be pragmatic. This dual approach has resulted in a strong track record of results—in and out of the courtroom.

We've successfully defended clients throughout Northern Virginia against misdemeanor and felony offenses. If you're facing criminal charges or investigation in Fairfax County, Prince William County, Arlington County, Loudoun County, Alexandria, or elsewhere in Northern Virginia, call Manikas Law, LLC today to schedule an appointment. We offer a free and informative consultation to discuss your legal rights and options.