According to reports out of South Georgia, a man has been accused of attacking a probation officer. He was subsequently shot and killed by authorities.
The reported facts are as follows: a Georgia Department of Community Supervision probation officer was shopping in a local store waiting for another officer to arrive. A man came in and allegedly began to attack the officer without any warning.
The man, who was identified by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as Riley Peay, was warned by police to cease attacking the officer. However, the officer under attack freed himself in time to use his gun but ended up killing the man.
Whenever there is a story about a peace officer being attacked, as a Georgia DUI Lawyer, I find it helpful to outline the law behind resisting or attacking officers in the state of Georgia – also known as obstruction.
Obstruction in Georgia
Obstruction can be classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor in Georgia. Obstruction in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in §16-10-24 of the Georgia Code.
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. On top of fines and prison time, a felony obstruction conviction could include community service and anger management classes.
If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Georgia DUI Attorney now.