According to reports out of DeKalb County, a driver is facing several serious charges after not only attempting to flee the scene of a traffic stop but also dragging an officer from his vehicle during the process.
Derric Alexander Simpson was pulled over by Officer Nathan Daley for alleged violation of the Hands Free Georgia Law. While pulled over, Simpson began to put his vehicle into gear, and Daley attempted to reach inside the vehicle to stop him when Simpson took off with Daley still inside. Daley was injured as his body struck several cars as he was dragged by the vehicle onto the interstate. He has now been released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Simpson has been apprehended and arrested.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will focus on only one of the offenses allegedly committed by Simpson in today's post.
Obstruction of a Police Officer in Georgia
Obstruction can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor in Georgia. The level of the crime is dependent on the circumstances of the offense.
Obstruction of a police officer in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in §16-10-24 of the Georgia Code. hygThe 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. On top of fines and prison time, a felony obstruction conviction could include community service and anger management classes.
As you can see from the story above, the example of obstruction in this particular case is dramatic and also involves another crime such as aggravated assault.
Resisting arrest in any form whether it be at the misdemeanor or the felony level is a serious crime to be convicted of committing. If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today.