Obstructing Justice explained

Crimes committed by judges, prosecutors, Attorneys general, and elected officials comes under the section of Obstructing Justice. Modern obstruction of justice according to United States act refers to the crime of interfering in the work of police, investigators, prosecutors, or other government officials. Usually no actual investigation or substantiated suspicion of a specific incident needed to charge the offender of obstruction of justice.

Generally, Obstruction charges are laid when it is observed or found that a person who is under investigation is not a suspect and he/she has lied to the investigating officers. However, If one remain silent while being questioned by police means he/she is refusing to answer questions of investigator without giving any reason. In such cases, the investigators call the witness to give testimony under oath in court. Obstruction charges also get laid if a person alters or destroys physical evidence even if they were under no compulsion at any time to produce such evidence.

Under section 1505, it is a crime for a person who willfully misrepresent, conceal, destroy, alter, or by other means falsify any documentary material, answer to written interrogatories, or oral testimony to put a hurdle in the investigation. It is also a violation for a person to corruptly, or by threat or force obstruct the proper investigation. A violation can be punished by a fine, imprisonment for not more than 5 years or, both. If the offense involves international or domestic terrorism the punishment can be a fine, imprisonment for not more than 8 years, or both.


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The material on this page represents general legal advice. Since the law is continually changing, some of the provisions contained here may be out of date. It is always best to consult a criminal defense attorney about your legal rights and responsibilities regarding your particular case.