Those who have been watching the news lately have heard the term “obstruction of justice” thrown around a lot lately. This is because certain political actors have possibly committed this crime according to allegations that have been lobbied against them. While you might have a sense that this is something bad, it is not uncommon for people to wonder what exactly obstruction of justice is and why it is so bad in the first place. It is good to have a questioning nature about such things and to want to get to the truth.
A straightforward definition of obstruction of justice is the interference with activities necessary to bring about justice in any proceeding involving the law. As such, it is possible to obstruct justice on either the state or federal level and the crime can be charged either way. That matters because those who are charged with this as a federal crime face a different set of penalties than those charged with a state crime.
Examples Of Obstruction Of Justice
It is actually fairly common to be charged with obstruction of justice. It is more common than people think for the simple fact that there are a number of ways to commit this crime. It is not unheard of to have someone lie to police in a criminal situation that ends up landing them with extra penalties on top of the crimes that they were already charged with as a result of their arrest. Therefore, one should not think that obstruction of justice is something that is never going to happen to them. It can easily be tacked on to almost any charge.
Penalties For Obstruction Of Justice
It is a bad idea to try to suggest that there is a single penalty for this crime. It is definitely something that is very circumstantial. Sometimes it is nothing more than a simple fine that a person must pay all the way up to the possibility of up to ten years in prison as a result of their crime. That is such a wide range because different offenses of this crime have different levels of seriousness attached to them.
Getting A Lawyer To Help Out
When you are dealing with an obstruction of justice charge it is best to hire a lawyer who can help you out with this. He or she is going to be your most valuable advocate on these matters. You will be surprised by just how much easier a case is to fight when you have someone who is willing to stand in your corner and fight for you. It is definitely a lot better than leaving things up to chance. With a charge as serious as this one, you do not want to take a chance.
The odds are that a lawyer who is working on an obstruction of justice charge for you is probably also working on the underlying charges that got you to the point of obstructing justice in the first place. Put their expert knowledge to good use and ask them to help you figure out the best course of action for combating the obstruction of justice charge that you clearly need to fight.
Getting A Lawyer
Remember that even if you are not able to afford an attorney, you can be appointed one by the state. They can offer you a public defender who will work on your case. While a private attorney can definitely devote more time to your case in particular, you are not doing anything wrong by using a public defender to work on your case. It is definitely a lot better than not having a lawyer at all. You can do much worse than to have a public defender backing you up.
Ask the judge in your case for access to a public defender if you are not able to afford a private attorney. They can start working right away to make sure you avoid some of the harshest potential penalties for obstruction of justice charges. They will probably end up working on a host of other things for you as well that you might not have thought of.