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Obstructing the Administration of Law

Sea Girt NJ Obstruction Lawyers

You might not know it but obstructing the administration of law is not unusual in Monmouth County and even comes up in a small town like Sea Girt. Whether it was in an effort to flee police outside the Parker House or arose an attempt to thwart police in another municipality, you can face serious consequences if you are unsuccessful in defending this charge. Obstructing, impairing or perverting the administration of government functions not only results in a criminal conviction and record but also up to 18 months in prison under certain circumstances. The attorneys at our firm are victorious in avoiding a conviction in most  obstruction offense cases. This rate of success stems from many considerations including our familiarity with the courts in Freehold, Asbury Park, Belmar, Holmdel, Lake Como and other towns, as well as our vast experience in defending this criminal charge. Former prosecutors from Monmouth County NJ are available now to assist you in our Red Bank Office and Freehold Office.

Charged With Obstructing Justice in Wall NJ

The charge of obstructing the administration of law or justice is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1. An individual commits this offense when he or she purposely: (1) obstructs, impairs or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function; (2) 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 (3) by means of any independently unlawful act. The first thing you should have noted from this language is that you only can violate 2C:29-1 if you had the purpose to cause (1), (2) or (3) when you engaged in your conduct. The following is other important dynamics of this law that you should be aware of.

  • Flight To Avoid Arrest. The largest number of charges under this law involving individuals attempting to run away from police. Flight to avoid an arrest, investigatory stop or interrogation is a violation of this law.
  • Refusing  To Answer Questions. Failure or refusal to answer questions of police is not obstruction.
  • Affirmative Obstruction Is Required. In order for this offense to arise, there must be an affirmative act to prevent or obstruct. Police often appear at a hotel room, apartment or house to investigate or serve an official document. Refusing to open the door is not obstruction because there is no affirmative conduct to obstruct. The same holds true for failure to obey a directive from a probation or parole office as it does not involve creation of an obstacle. Conversely, when someone attempts to prevent a pat down by police through physical efforts, that is obstructing.
  • Element of Violation. There are three (3) elements that the prosecutor must prove in an obstruction case. First, it must be established that the accused obstructed, impaired or perverted the administration of law or governmental function or attempted/prevented a public servant from performing an official function. Second, the purpose of the accused must have been to obstruct or prevent. Third, it must be proven that the accused employed intimidation, force, violence, physical interference or other unlawful act.
  • Grading of Offense. Obstructing is a fourth degree crime if it is to prevent detection or investigation of a crime or prosecution of a person for a crime. In all other cases, obstruction is a disorderly persons offense.

Aberdeen NJ Obstructing Attorneys

As you might already know, police in Monmouth County have a tendency to jump the gun and issue an obstructing the administration of law and justice charge without proper basis. It clearly is not a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1 to voice disagreement or to refuse to provide information. So if you were arrested or are facing a charge for obstruction in Bradley Beach, Highlands, Keansburg, Middletown, Wall or Colts Neck, call our lawyers for the guidance you need. One of the obstructing attorneys at our firm will go over your options and plot a course to successfully defend you offense. An attorney is available immediately to assist you.

Additional Obstruction Charge Resources

Manasquan Obstruction Offense Lawyer
Holmdel Obstructing Defense Attorneys