Police in Cobb County attempted a routine traffic stop after a woman, later identified as Mikayla Lyon, allegedly made an improper lane change.
One of the officers was suspicious of her behavior during the stop and asked her to get of the car. Lyon allegedly got out of the vehicle and then ran back to her car and tried to drive away. One of the officers followed her and attempted to lean into her open window but then Lyon accelerated with the officer hanging out of her window.
This incident ended in a crash. Lyon apparently tried to run away but officers caught up to her and arrested her.
Lyon is facing several different charges including fleeing a police officer in Georgia as well as obstruction in Georgia. As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will focus today's post on the law behind obstruction of an officer in our state because the offense itself is complicated to understand and has serious consequences if convicted.
Obstruction in Georgia
The criminal offense of obstruction of a law enforcement officer in Georgia can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony offense in Georgia. This means that the consequences of criminal conviction of obstruction are based on the circumstances of the crime. The biggest difference between misdemeanor and felony obstruction is whether or not the accused person offered or committed violence towards the officer.
The Georgia Code defines misdemeanor obstruction as:
When a person knowingly or willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties. O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(a).
The penalty for misdemeanor obstruction can be up to twelve months in jail, fines up to $1,000, or both.
The Georgia Code defines felony obstruction as:
When a person knowingly and willfully resist, obstruct, or oppose 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. O.C.G.A. §16-10-24(b).
If convicted of felony obstruction, the penalty can be imprisonment of one to five years, a minimum fine of $300, community service, or anger management classes.
Obstruction is commonly paired with a charge for DUI in Georgia. It can be a catchall offense when an officer doesn't like the way someone is behaving during an arrest.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Georgia, contact our offices today. Our firm specializes in Georgia DUI Law and can help you with your case.