Though there are few ways to obstruct justice in Virginia, typically the crime of obstruction occurs when “any person who, by threats or force, knowingly attempts to intimidate or impede a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law-enforcement officer, or an animal control officer lawfully engaged in his duties as such, or to obstruct or impede the administration of justice in any court.” There are 6 main elements that the Commonwealth must prove in order to convict an individual for obstruction.
1) The individual knowingly;
2) attempted to;
3) intimidate or impede;
4) by threat or force;
5) a judge, magistrate, justice, juror, attorney for the Commonwealth, witness, any law enforcement officer, or animal control officer;
6) who is lawfully engaged in his or her duties as such.
If you are found guilty of obstruction of justice you will be convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that you can be punished up to one year in jail with a maximum fine of $2,500, though there is no mandatory minimum sentence. In addition, you will have a criminal record and you may face additional court costs.
If you are facing an obstruction charge, Contact us at Holcomb Law to schedule your “No Hassle Legal Strategy Meeting,” (no sales pitch) at which our criminal defense lawyer will answer ALL your questions and show you your possible defenses. We will take good care of you.