A Georgia man is facing charges for obstruction of law enforcement officers and other related charges after breaking into a home in Columbia County and then getting in bed with the residents. Jared McVicker says he was awakened when a neighbor called him to inform him that a man was running around his neighborhood naked. The police were called, but had trouble taking down Christopher Lindner. After being maced, Lindner ran into McVicker’s home and dove into their bed with them in it.
Although law enforcement officers have a duty to serve the public, it is not always easy. Sometimes they are prevented from conducting their duties by people like Lindner who do not cooperate. When this happens, Georgia laws consider it a crime of obstruction. It can be treated as either a misdemeanor or a felony, making it crucial to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side if you are facing these charges.
Examples of Obstruction in Georgia
Although there are a variety of reasons that a person may be charged with obstructing a law enforcement officer, the following are some of the most common:
- Resisting arrest, whether force is used or not
- Hindering an investigation by the police
- Lying to a police officer
- Giving misleading or false information to a police officer
- Running from a law enforcement officer
- Threatening a police officer
- Hitting a police officer
Misdemeanor Obstruction Charges
Anyone may be found guilty if they willingly or knowingly hinder or obstruct a law enforcement officer from performing his or her legal duties. The penalty for this misdemeanor crime can be as much as one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. The penalty may also include anger management classes, community service, or other penalties allowed by the sentencing laws for misdemeanors in Georgia.
Felony Obstruction Charges
A person may be convicted of a felony obstruction if they willfully and knowingly resist, oppose, or obstruct a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, prison guard, probation officer, community supervision officer, or conservation officer from performing his or her legal duties by doing or offering violence. Offering or doing violence is the difference between a misdemeanor charge and a felony charge.
The penalty for felony obstruction is prison time between one and five years and a fine of at least $300. The penalty may also include classes for anger management and community service.
Contact an Experienced Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney Today
There are many possible defenses to obstruction of a law enforcement officer, including innocence, lack of evidence, lack of intent, lack of probable cause, and many more. An experienced criminal defense attorney including those at Lankford & Moore Law can review your case and determine what defenses may apply to your situation. They will consult with you and craft the best possible defense for your situation. With the strict penalties and potential prison time that come with charges of obstruction of a law enforcement officer, it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side. Contact them today to schedule a consultation and let them ensure that your rights are protected.