Understanding Florida Obstruction of Justice: Key Insights from Patrick McLain Law

On behalf of Patrick McLain Law | February 28, 2024
Photo of Obstruction Concept

In certain circumstances, you may need to protect yourself or someone you love. However, some actions may be considered an obstruction to the process of justice. There are a variety of actions that you may take that could result in Florida obstruction of justice charges.

If you were arrested and charged with obstructing justice in Florida, you must seek legal representation. Patrick McLain Law is dedicated to providing expert criminal defense representation in Florida, offering a range of services to our clients who face charges of obstruction of justice. This blog post sheds light on these legal aspects and how the expertise of a criminal defense lawyer from our firm might be essential in your defense.

What Is Considered Obstructing Justice in Florida?

Obstructing justice in Florida applies to a broad range of actions that prevent law enforcement agents from properly doing their jobs. If you try to stop law enforcement from learning about a crime or finding the people who were involved in that crime, it is an obstruction of justice.

Often, Florida obstruction charges are added to the charges for another crime. This means you’d face two charges or possibly more depending on the circumstances, which can increase the penalties you receive if you are convicted.

Obstructing legal proceedings in Florida could be the result of performing any of the different actions that are considered obstruction of justice. Florida has 29 items listed, which include threatening or harming a witness or juror, giving false testimony, fraudulently reporting a crime, and hiding or withholding material information, as depicted in the image below.

In addition, obstruction of justice also includes these actions:

  • Resisting an officer with or without violence
  • Depriving an officer of protection or communication
  • Obstruction by disguise
  • False personation
  • Unlawful use of badges or other marks of authority
  • Aiding escape
  • Failure to appear on bail
  • Unauthorized transmissions and interferences with governmental radio frequencies
  • Publishing the contact information of a law enforcement officer
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude a law enforcement officer
  • Criminal actions against police dogs, fire dogs, SAR dogs, or police horses
  • Depriving a crime victim of medical care
  • Tampering with an electronic monitoring device

This is only a partial list of obstruction of justice actions. If you are facing these charges along with other criminal charges, it is important to seek legal counsel to explore your legal options.

What Are the Penalties for Florida Obstruction Charges?

Since the penalties for obstructing justice vary widely depending on the situation, this charge can be imposed as a misdemeanor or felony. Key factors that will determine the severity of your penalties are whether or not violence was used and the other crimes you are alleged to have been committing at the time of your arrest.

As an example, someone who engages in false personation by pretending to be a sheriff or other authority figure would face a third-degree felony. However, if they engaged in this action during the course of committing another felony, it would be a second-degree felony. If the felony in question results in personal injury or death, it becomes a first-degree felony. A conviction will mean time behind bars, hefty fines, and impacts on your future.

The Role of a Defense Attorney in Protecting You from Florida Obstruction Charges

Patrick McLain Law’s approach to obstruction of justice cases focuses on building a strong defense strategy. We gather evidence and witness testimony to help negotiate plea bargains and poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you.

Our specialized experience and track record can help protect your legal rights during these circumstances. Contact Patrick McLain Law today to discuss your case.

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