A city councilman from Marietta has been arrested on three counts of obstruction after a car accident last week. The councilman, Reggie Copeland, represents Ward 5 in NE Marietta. According to reports, he allegedly refused to provide identification or get out of his truck when police requested.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I see cases of DUI in Georgia accompanied by obstruction charges quite frequently. In today's post, I will outline the law behind obstruction as well as the penalties faced if convicted of the offense. If convicted of both DUI and obstruction in Georgia then the Georgia DUI Penalties will be exacerbated.
Obstruction in Georgia
Georgia Law defines obstruction in Georgia in the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-10-24 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. 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.
As you can see from the law, there are two different levels of obstruction according to Georgia Law.
Anyone who knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders a police officer is guilty of a misdemeanor offense. That means that if convicted of misdemeanor obstruction, an individual faces up to 12 months in jail and up to $1,000.
However, if someone knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders a police officer by offering or doing violence is guilty of a felony offense. That means that if convicted of felony obstruction, an individual is facing up to five years in prison.
Obstruction charges are difficult - there is sometimes a basis to the arrest, and sometimes, when an officer doesn't like how someone acts during an arrest. As a Georgia DUI Attorney, I frequently advise people to always act respectfully when they've been pulled over or detained by police.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact our offices today. We can help you with your case to figure out the best defense for your case. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we can figure out a way to either mitigate the consequences or get your charges dismissed.