Cristina Cruz, the wife of a local minister in Gwinnett County, has been convicted of several serious charges resulting from a situation that occurred last spring.
Reports showed that Cruz and her family were engaged in a physical fight for personal reasons. This fight spread between family members to officers when police arrived on the scene. Cruz was found guilty of grabbing one of the officer's tasers and pointing it at him while resisting arrest.
Cruz will be facing sentencing in September according to news reports. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will review the law behind the most glaring of Cruz's charges - obstruction - otherwise known as resisting or fighting an officer.
Obstruction 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 in Georgia is defined in the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. §16-10-24. 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.
As a defense firm focused on Georgia DUI Laws, we handle all cases and charges related to DUI in Georgia. A lot of the time, this includes charges for obstruction or fleeing or attempting to elude police in Georgia.
The majority of people who are pulled over or detained by law enforcement do not want to be in that particular situation, and therefore, rash decisions or choices can be made.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact us now.