Obstruction of Justice Charges
Fought by Our Miami Federal Crime Attorneys
Obstruction of justice is a felony under state and Federal law. Federal obstruction of justice is primarily defined in Chapter of Title 18 of the United States Code. Keep this in mind: It is very easy to commit an act that can result in an indictment for obstruction of justice.
All crimes are carefully defined and are made up of certain elements, each of which must be proven beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt in order for a conviction to stand.
What Does Obstructing Justice Entail?
The essential elements of the obstruction of justice statutes are having a corrupt state of mind or, in other words, a specific criminal intent to obstruct justice. An action intentionally and knowingly undertaken in which obstruction of justice was reasonably foreseeable satisfies this element. Also, note that the intent required can be proven by circumstantial evidence and can also be inferred from facts and circumstances that, in and of themselves, may not be illegal.
The second element is what is known as endeavoring to impede or obstruct justice. Endeavoring covers almost any effort made to accomplish the purpose of obstructing justice.
Finally, obstructing justice requires that the obstruction arises when justice is being administered or, in other words, that there be an impending proceeding at the time of the obstructing act. So, if a grand jury is sitting or if a case is pending or being tried, those circumstances clearly fall under the required element of attempting to obstruct the “due administration” of justice.
Our Attorneys Have the Necessary Experience
Our attorneys had a case recently in which an individual was subpoenaed to provide documents to a Federal grand jury. The individual who was subpoenaed was actually cooperating with the United States Government at the time and asked his “friend” to destroy or hide the records so that the grand jury could not receive them. When the “friend” took possession of the records and hid them, the “friend” was charged with, and ultimately pled guilty to, obstruction of justice. The FBI audio and videotaped the entire crime. A good rule to go by is to assume that anyone you talk with in person, on the telephone or via the Internet, is recording what you are saying.
It is essential that you retain a competent criminal defense attorney experienced in these types of crimes. Your lawyer should be familiar with cases involving obstructing justice so that you may be properly advised and represented. Don’t wait to retain a criminal defense lawyer until after an act has been committed, especially if you believe it may constitute obstruction of justice. Once an obstruction occurs or is attempted, you may be charged even if you are not ultimately charged with the substantive offense that the judicial proceedings encompass.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Federal Crime Attorneys Today
If you have any questions about obstruction of justice, feel free to contact our law firm to set up a meeting.
Call (305) 985-6640 and schedule your free consultation with a knowledgeable federal crime attorney in Miami.
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