Obstruction of Justice in San Diego

Understanding Your Charge & What You Are Up Against

Interfering with the administration or proceedings of courts, the judicial system, or law enforcement agencies is illegal and is referred to as the "obstruction of justice." These charges most commonly brought against the friends or family of the subject of an investigation. When an individual says or does anything that misleads investigators or law enforcement—intentionally or otherwise—he or she may be charged with obstruction. Obstruction is considered a serious crime as law enforcement and prosecution teams view it as an interference. The integrity of the legal process is usually addressed with harsh penalties and punitive measures.

What penalties do I face?

Obstruction of justice charges can arise from any number of scenarios and can be applied with various degrees of severity. Because of this fact, the penalties for obstruction will vary on a case-by-case basis. If you're accused of obstruction of justice for misleading a murder investigation, for example, you will likely be facing harsher penalties than charges for obstructing justice because you didn't cooperate with a police officer at a traffic stop. Thus, depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you could be facing anything from simple fines to years in prison.

Due to the variance, it is essential that you speak with a lawyer regarding your case as soon as possible, so that you can begin to understand the severity of your charge and how to move forward.

What Is Considered Obstruction of Justice in California?

Obstruction of justice has a (purposefully) broad definition in order to maintain the integrity of the investigative process. The broadest charge is known as “misleading conduct,” which acts as a type of catch-all when obstruction does not entail any physical or financial action. For example, Bill Clinton was charged with misleading conduct by reporting to his family and intimate circles that he did not sleep with Monica Lewinsky—leading those people to report his own lies to a grand jury.

The obstruction of justice can be applied to any one or more of a number of actions:

  • Threatening witnesses or jurors
  • Interfering with an arrest
  • Hiding or destroying evidence
  • Altering evidence in an investigation or a case
  • Bribing witnesses, jurors, officers, judges or lawyers involved in a case
  • Any other actions that intentionally disrupt a case or alter the course of justice

If you are found guilty of obstruction of justice, you may be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor, with a prison sentence of up to 5 years. If you were found to obstruct justice in regards to international or domestic terrorism, you may be sentenced to state prison for up to 8 years.

Hire a Certified Criminal Law Specialist

For nearly 40 years, Attorney Jim Dicks has committed his life to the law, first as a police officer, then as a criminal defense attorney. His devotion to service, integrity, and excellence has allowed him to help hundreds of San Diego clients receive positive outcomes. As a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, he has rare and unparalleled insight that provides clients with seasoned litigation.

When you cannot afford to lose, when investigators and prosecutors are standing against you, and when you do not know where to turn—trust in a San Diego criminal defense attorney who stands by your side. We fiercely and relentlessly seek the best possible outcomes for our clients. You can entrust your freedom and well-being to our capable hands because we understand the stakes.

Only a dedicated lawyer can protect your rights and help you avoid a prison sentence. Contact our San Diego criminal defense attorney to get the skilled counsel!

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