According to reports out of Atlanta, a local woman was arrested this past Tuesday after she went to extreme measures to to leave the scene of an accident in Ansley Park.
The woman is facing nine different charges. The incident report reflects that she stole a news van in order to leave the scene of a crash nearby. She allegedly ran to the news van, carjacked the vehicle and in as a result, she ended up kidnapping a pregnant news reporter who was inside the van at the time.
The wreck that the woman was allegedly running away from was her collision with the gates of the Atlantic Condos on 17th Street near 5:30 AM. Officer Steve Avery with the Atlanta Police Department stated that “While the police officers got out to check on the wrecked vehicle, the driver of that vehicle got out of the vehicle — unbeknownst to the officers — walked over to the van that belonged to the news station, got in it and drove away.”
Her list of charges ranges from hijacking a motor vehicle to obstruction and leaving the scene of an accident in Georgia. In today's post, I will focus on explaining the law behind the criminal offense of obstruction - also known as resisting arrest.
Obstruction in Georgia
Obstruction in Georgia can be a confusing offense as it is split into two different “levels.” One level of obstruction is considered a misdemeanor, while the next level of obstruction is considered a felony. The law is outlined below:
Both misdemeanor and felony obstruction are defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. §16-10-24.
The first part of the law outlines misdemeanor obstruction as:
A person who knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties is guilty of a misdemeanor.
If a person is convicted of misdemeanor obstruction, then the penalty can include up to 12 months in jail as well as fines up to $1,000.
The second part of the law outlines felony obstruction as:
Whoever knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, probation supervisor, parole supervisor, or conservation ranger in the lawful discharge of his official duties by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person is guilty of a felony and shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.
If a person is convicted of felony obstruction, then the penalty can include up to 5 years in prison.
When thinking about crimes, most people are unaware of the severity of related offenses or even traffic violations. Depending on the circumstances of an incident, many of these offenses can be classified as felonies.
If you have been arrested for a traffic violation such as DUI in Georgia, call our offices today. We can help you now.