When an officer in Georgia has a legitimate and valid reason for pulling you over, stopping you, or questioning you - you cannot flee or hinder the investigation.
As a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I often explain that most Georgia DUI arrests begin with routine traffic stops for a traffic offense. The harsh reality is that if an officer has reason to believe you may be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the routine stop can be very much escalated.
Furthermore, the traffic stop can be even more escalated if you disrespect, defy, or threaten the officer - or if you hinder or make it difficult for the officer to investigate any possible criminal activity. Legally, this is referred to as Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia.
Obstruction of a Law Enforcement Officer in Georgia
Obstruction is either a misdemeanor or a felony in Georgia. The difference exists within the offense itself and whether or not the accused person offered or committed violence towards the officer. This small detail is all the more reason that an obstruction charge should not be taken lightly.
When an obstruction charge is combined with a DUI charge on top of a traffic charge, the Georgia DUI Penalties will be greatly heightened.
The truth is that most people are overwhelmed when the possibility of an arrest occurs. This can lead to overreactions. Today, I'd like to highlight the differences between misdemeanor and felony obstruction.
Misdemeanor Obstruction in Georgia
Misdemeanor Obstruction occurs 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 are facing up to twelve months in jail, fines up to $1,000, or both.
Felony Obstruction in Georgia
Felony Obstruction occurs 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, you are facing imprisonment of one to five years, a minimum fine of $300, community service, or anger management classes.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for either misdemeanor or felony obstruction and DUI in Georgia, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney today. We will review the circumstances of your case. We will evaluate your case for any potential Georgia DUI Defenses in order to get the best possible outcome. Obstruction in Georgia is a serious crime - act now.