Obstructing the Administration of Justice

Obstruction of the Administration of Law Lawyers in Trenton 

If you have been accused of obstruction in Mercer County, in towns like Hamilton, Trenton, East Windsor, West Windsor, Princeton, Hopewell or Hightstown it is important that you speak to a criminal defense attorney about your options. As you will see below, this is a serious criminal offense and if convicted, a Defendant could be facing not only a lengthy State Prison sentence, but high fines and a felony criminal record as well. Most Defendants charged with obstructing the administration of law also are charged with resisting arrest, eluding, disorderly conduct and aggravated assault on a police officer. If you have been charged with obstruction or any other criminal offense for that matter, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys have been representing clients accused of this offense for over a decade now. If you would like to come into our office for a free face to face consultation with one of our attorneys then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. Our attorneys fully understand what a criminal conviction can do to one’s future.

Obstructing the Administration of Law Charges in Ewing

N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1 Charges in NJ

The governing statute in New Jersey for obstructing the administration of law is N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1. It states in pertinent part that:

  • “A person commits an offense if he purposely obstructs, impairs, or perverts the administration of law or other governmental function or prevents or attempts to prevent a public servant from lawfully performing an official function by means of flight, intimidation, force, violence, or physical interference or obstacle, or by means of any independently unlawful act.”  

In layman’s terms, this criminal offense basically means that a Defendant interfered and prevented a police officer from doing their job. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant committed one of the following acts:
    • Flight, Intimidation, Force, Violence, Physical Interference, Obstacle or any other Unlawful act; &
    • The Defendant did so with the underlying purpose to obstruct, impair or prevent a police officer from performing their duties; &
    • The Defendant did in fact obstruct, impair or prevent a police officer from performing their duties.

So, the State must prove that the Defendant’s actions actually prevented a police officer from doing their job. If a Defendant is accused of obstructing the detection or investigation of a “crime” or the prosecution of a “crime” then the Defendant will be charged with a fourth degree felony. The word “crime” in this context means another felony offense not a misdemeanor. Conversely, every other form of obstruction charge will be a disorderly person offense (misdemeanor).  If you have been charged with this offense and would like to speak to one of our attorneys about your options then please contact us at (609) 789-0779.

What are the Penalties for Obstructing the Administration of Law?

Obstruction is either a fourth degree felony offense or a disorderly person offense (misdemeanor). A fourth degree felony offense is punishable by up to eighteen months in a State Prison, a fine up to $10,000 and a felony criminal record. All fourth degree felony offenses receive a presumption of non-imprisonment provided the Defendant does not have a prior criminal history. However, that presumption can be overcome if the facts of the face are so egregious. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to six months in the Mercer County Jail, a fine up to $1,000 and a criminal record.

Depending on a Defendant’s prior criminal history, they may be eligible for either the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) or the Conditional Dismissal Program. Both of these programs could afford the Defendant the opportunity to walk away from these criminal charges without a criminal record and without serving a day in jail. For more information on these programs, please contact our office at (609) 789-0779.

Obstructing Lawyers in Lawrence NJ

Obstructing the administration of law is a serious criminal offense. If you have been charged with obstruction, simple assault, harassment, eluding, robbery, burglary, possession of cocaine or possession of marijuana, we can help. An experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney can speak to the prosecutor’s office and seek to have these fourth degree felony charges downgraded and remanded back to the local municipal court to be treated as a disorderly persons offense. If that occurs, the potential for a more favorable outcome drastically increases. We appear in courts throughout Mercer County, including towns like Hamilton Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court, the Hightstown Municipal Court, the West Windsor Municipal Court, the East Windsor Municipal Court and the Ewing Municipal Court. If you would like to come into our office for a free consultation then please contact us at (609) 789-0779.