What is Obstruction of Justice?
Obstruction of justice is the use of threats, force, intimidation, or other endeavors meant to influence law enforcement, investigators, or any court of the United States with the intent to impede an investigation. Essentially it is any action that is intended to impede government activities, investigations, or legal proceedings. Obstruction of justice laws are codified in state and federal statutes.
Under federal law, obstruction of a criminal investigation in when a person “willfully endeavors by means of bribery to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States by any person to a criminal investigator[.]” 18 U.S.C. §1510.
Under this code section, federal obstruction of a criminal investigation requires bribery, which is giving something of value for the purpose of influencing the actions of an official in the discharge of his or her public or legal duties. The “something of value” could be money, a job, a contract, or something else of value.
There are a number of federal statutes defining obstruction of justice. View the complete list here.
Under Arizona criminal law, a person obstructs a criminal investigation or prosecution when he or she “knowingly attempts by means of bribery, misrepresentation, intimidation or force or threats of force to obstruct, delay or prevent the communication of information or testimony relating to a violation of any criminal statue” to a law enforcement office or grand jury. A.R.S. §13-2409.
Defending Charges for Obstruction of Justice
Often a charge for obstruction is included in charges for other white collar crimes and fraud. While obstruction of justice is difficult to prove, it can result in significant sentence enhancements. If you are being investigated for or have been charged with obstruction, or any white collar crime, it is critical that you consult with a white collar criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Ashley D. Adams has significant experience defending clients accused of complex white collar crimes. She will work diligently to ensure that your rights are protected.
We practice excellence, one client at a time.
The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.