Jonesboro, Ga. - According to reports out of Jonesboro, a man has been arrested after he was allegedly involved in a traffic accident and subsequently stole a patrol car that was investigating the wreck.
The suspect is from Macon and is now in the Clayton County Jail facing close to twenty charges. The accident occurred on Tara Boulevard near Poston Road.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I will focus on only one of the offenses - obstruction of a police officer.
Obstruction of a Police Officer in Georgia
O.C.G.A. §16-10-24 outlines the crime of obstruction in Georgia. Obstruction can be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor depending on the nature of the offense.
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.
It is never a good idea to resist arrest, however, sometimes officers use this offense against people who are not truly obstructing the officer.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, call our offices now.