Cobb County police were called to a home early Saturday morning in Austell after a homeowner reported an “unfamiliar vehicle parked in their yard.” The driver reportedly got out of the car and was stumbling around the area. The driver, Josiah Moorhous, allegedly led one of the officers on a chase when he pulled a gun from his waist. Moorhous was subsequently tackled and his vehicle was searched where the officers found cocaine on the floorboard according to reports.
As of right now, Moorhous faces the following charges:
- Possession of Cocaine in Georgia
- DUI Drugs in Georgia
- Obstruction of an Officer in Georgia
- Aggravated Assault in Georgia
- Possession of a Firearm during an Attempt to Commit a Felony in Georgia
- No Proof of Insurance in Georgia
- And Driving with an Expired Tag
Moorhous is still in Cobb County jail as of today and is facing some serious penalties. He will need a Georgia DUI Lawyer who is familiar with Georgia DUI Laws as well as the laws behind Georgia DUI Related Offenses.
In today's post, I will focus on the criminal offense of willful obstruction as it is probably the most misunderstood.
Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia
Obstruction in Georgia can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony in Georgia.
Misdemeanor Obstruction is defined by the Georgia Code 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.
If convicted of misdemeanor obstruction, you face up to twelve months in jail, fines up to $1,000, or both.
Felony Obstruction is defined by the Georgia Code 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. O.C.G.A. §16-10-24 b.
If convicted of felony obstruction, you face imprisonment of one to five years, a minimum fine of $300, community service, or anger management classes.
As you can see above, the difference between misdemeanor and felony obstruction is simply whether or not the accused person offered or committed violence towards the officer. This small difference between a felony and a misdemeanor conviction is why an obstruction charge should not be taken lightly.
Moorhous is facing a felony obstruction charge because he allegedly attempted to shoot the police officer which if true, can definitely be interpreted as offering and doing violence to the officer. But the reality is that everyone, regardless of their circumstances or the portrayal of their story, is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There are two sides to every story.