Gainesville, Ga. - A local Gainesville man is facing two felonies after he allegedly hit a police officer in the head with a gold crucifix.
According to reports, police received calls concerning a man behaving very strangely. The man has been accused of walking into a local business off of Summit Street with a paddle in his hand. Officers attempted to detain him but the man then proceeded to get violent. He ended up punching a female officer in the head with his fist wrapped in a gold chain with a crucifix which resulted in a gash to her head. He has since been arrested and is being held in Hall County.
The man is facing felony obstruction charges. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I am very familiar with the charge of obstruction. Obstruction is a type of resistance shown towards police officers. It is frequently charged alongside DUI in Georgia. I will outline the law below.
Obstruction in Georgia
As I mentioned above, obstruction refers to when a person resists an arrest or an investigation. Obstruction in Georgia can be a misdemeanor or a felony. Whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony is dependent on the circumstances of the offense. The breakdown of the two levels of obstruction occurs in the first two sections of the law.
Misdemeanor obstruction is defined in O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(a) as:
When a person knowingly or willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties.
The penalty for a misdemeanor conviction in Georgia is a fine up to $1,000, jail time up to one year, or both. It can also come with community service, anger management classes, or any other punishments allowed under the misdemeanor sentencing laws of Georgia.
Felony obstruction is defined in O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(b) as:
When a person knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, community supervision officer, probation officer, or conservation officer in the lawful discharge of his or her official duties by offering or doing violence to the person.
The penalty for a felony obstruction conviction is a prison term between one and five years. In addition to any prison term imposed, the accused will pay a fine of at least $300. Furthermore, the penalty could include community service and anger management classes.
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