A driver in Johns Creek was pulled over for a seatbelt violation. According to reports, the driver was Paul Matas, and he initially refused to stop when officers pulled behind him. When he eventually was blocked in by officers, he had no choice but to stop his vehicle. He then screamed from his window that he would shoot the officers.
Matas has been arrested on charges of DUI and obstruction.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will outline the offense of obstruction in today's post.
Obstruction in Georgia
Obstruction of a police officer in Georgia refers to when a person resists an arrest or an investigation. Obstruction 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.