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Clearwater Law Firms Explain How to Fight Charges of Obstructing Justice

Clearwater Law Firms Explain How to Fight Charges of Obstructing Justice

Being charged with obstructing justice can be scary. But with the right legal help, you may be able to get the charges reduced or even dismissed. Here’s what some Clearwater law firms say about fighting back against obstructing justice charges.

What Does “Obstructing Justice” Mean?

Obstructing justice is a broad term that can cover lots of different behaviors. Basically, it means getting in the way of an official investigation or court case. Common ways folks obstruct justice include:

  • Lying to police or investigators
  • Destroying or hiding evidence
  • Threatening or bribing witnesses
  • Helping someone avoid arrest or prosecution

Obstruction charges often come up when someone’s under investigation for another crime. Say the cops think you robbed a bank. If they find out you burned the clothes you wore that day, they might slap you with obstructing charges too.

How Serious Are Obstruction Charges in Florida?

Obstructing justice is a felony in Florida. If convicted, you face:

  • Up to 5 years in prison
  • Up to 5 years probation
  • Fines up to $5,000

That’s on top of any punishment for the original crime. So obstruction can make an already bad situation way worse.

When Can You Be Charged With Obstruction in Clearwater, FL?

Under Florida statute 843.02, it’s obstruction if you:

  • Resist an officer with violence
  • Threaten or intimidate an officer
  • Obstruct the service or execution of a legal process, like an arrest warrant
  • Obstruct the service or execution of a civil or criminal process, like a subpoena

You can also face charges for obstruction of justice under Florida statute 914.22. This covers things like:

  • Lying to police or prosecutors
  • Hiding evidence or helping someone avoid arrest
  • Bribing or threatening witnesses to change their testimony

Obstruction laws are broad. Lots of actions could potentially lead to charges. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced attorney on your side.

How Can a Clearwater Defense Lawyer Fight Obstruction Charges?

Skilled criminal defense attorneys have many strategies to get obstruction charges reduced or dismissed. Here are some of the main ways they defend clients:

Argue you didn’t have “corrupt intent”

To be guilty of obstruction in Florida, you have to act with “corrupt intent.” This means you knew you were interfering with an investigation or court case. Your lawyer can argue you didn’t have any corrupt intent. Maybe you didn’t realize lying would obstruct justice. Or you hid evidence by accident.

Challenge improper police conduct

If police violated your rights, any evidence they found may get thrown out. For example, if they questioned you without reading you your Miranda rights, your lawyer can challenge the interrogation. This could get an obstruction confession tossed.

Negotiate a plea deal

Prosecutors often reduce or drop obstruction charges in exchange for a guilty plea on other counts. Your attorney may be able to negotiate a good deal, especially if the evidence is weak.

File a motion to dismiss

If your lawyer finds problems with the prosecutor’s case, they can file a motion to dismiss. For example, they may argue police lacked probable cause for your arrest. Or the charges violate your constitutional rights.

Recent Clearwater Obstruction Cases

Here are a few real-life examples of obstruction charges in Clearwater and how defense lawyers responded:

State of Florida v. Jason T.

Jason was charged with battery and obstructing an officer by giving a false name. His lawyer got the obstruction charge dropped by proving Jason truthfully identified himself when first contacted.

State of Florida v. Amber F.

When police came to arrest Amber on drug charges, she swallowed a bag of pills. She was charged with obstruction. At trial, her lawyer argued she panicked and lacked corrupt intent. Amber was acquitted of obstruction.

State of Florida v. Mike S.

Mike was accused of obstruction for lying about his brother’s whereabouts to police. His attorney negotiated a plea deal where Mike pled guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana charge. The obstruction felony was dismissed.

Find an Experienced Clearwater Obstruction Lawyer

Fighting obstruction of justice charges takes skill and strategy. The lawyers at [Firm Name] have a proven record defending clients against these allegations. We dig deep into the facts of your case and build aggressive legal arguments on your behalf. Don’t go it alone against obstruction charges. Call us 24/7 for a free case review.

Schedule Your Consultation Now