According to reports out of a high school in Hall County, six girls got in a fight after class for what is still being reported as an unknown reason. The police were called to break it up. The fight resulted in both a school administrator and a deputy being hit by two of the six girls.
All six of the high school students are under the age of 16 years old. Each of the girls was charged with affray (a crime for fighting - similar to disorderly conduct in Georgia). One of the students was charged with felony obstruction after striking the deputy.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline obstruction by law and explain the difference between misdemeanor and felony obstruction of a law enforcement officer in Georgia in today's post.
Obstruction in Georgia
Obstruction charges usually stem from a person running or resisting arrest when confronted by police officers. If an officer has a legitimate reason for stopping or questioning you, you cannot, by law, hinder his or her investigation. Obstruction in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law by a division between misdemeanor and felony obstruction.
Misdemeanor obstruction is defined by law 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 convicted of misdemeanor obstruction, the penalty can include a 12 month jail sentence, up to $1,000 in fines, community service, anger management classes as well as anything else allowed under misdemeanor sentencing laws of Georgia.
Felony obstruction is defined by law 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 convicted of felony obstruction, the penalty can result in a sentence of between 1 and 5 years in prison. It can also be punished with community service and anger management classes. The fines can be in the thousands of dollars. Obstruction is considered a felony when the obstruction constitutes a threat of violence to the officer. Under the obstruction statute, a law enforcement officer is considered a probation officer, parole officer, park ranger, or prison guard in addition to a regular police officer.
The girls are facing some serious charges. But let's not forget that just because someone has been charged with a crime does not mean they are guilty of committing that crime.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a serious crime such as DUI in Georgia, contact our offices today.